Vol.16 No.1 - March 2008

Berthing at Aotea Wharf in Wellington, NIWA's research vessel Tangaroa is readied for another voyage as part of the Census of Marine Life. CoML is an international initiative involving more than 80 nations in a 10-year effort to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans. Read more about New Zealand's participation in 'No ordinary stock-take: Census of Marine Life'.

In this issue

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    Sampling the Atlantic depths

    PDF of this article (259 KB)
    The course of voyage ANT-XXIV/1 down the coast of Africa, with the zooplankton sampling sites marked in red. (Map: Erika Mackay)
    Deploying the MOCNESS (with 1 m2 mouth and nine nets) from the deck of PFS Polarstern. (Photo: Clare Benskin)
    Identifying specimens in the lab (left) and preparing material for genetic analysis. (Photos: Peter Wiebe, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute)
    Some of the 471 species identified from the voyage.
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    New Zealand Region Bathymetry chart

    NIWA Miscellaneous Series No. 85. This is an updated version of a chart last produced in 1997. It's available for $25 folded or $30 flat. To order a chart, go to the NIWA Charts page or contact us at [email protected].
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    Bubbles on the Hikurangi Margin: the New Zealand cold vents project

     PDF of this article (350 KB)
    The German research vessel Sonne. (Photo: RF Forschungsschifffahrt, Bremen, Germany)
    An overview of the area investigated during New Vents.
    Images taken by OFOS (Ocean Floor Observations System), a towed camera platform. (Photos: David Bowden, SO191-NZ New Vents)
    Clockwise from above: Ruth Martin ‘slaughtering’ a sample from the multicorer to see what macrofauna it holds. ‘Stefan’s worm’ (not yet identified). Specimens brought up by the TV grab.
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    No ordinary stock-take: Census of Marine Life

    PDF of this article (281 KB)
    Theoretical cross section of the ocean: CoML projects focus on the different environments. (Graphic: Census of Marine Life)
    In Auckland last November, researchers from around the globe gathered to compare notes on a scientific programme as ambitious as the Domesday Book was in its day. Mireille Consalvey writes about New Zealand’s part in a unique experiment. One of the six most important experiments in the world.” That’s how Discover magazine has described the Census of Marine Life (CoML).
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    Surf clam research: coming soon to a beach near you!

    PDF of this article (219 KB)
    Surf clam anatomy.
    Depth ranges of seven species of subtidal surf clam. (Graphic: Aarti Wadhwa)
    Some of New Zealand’s surf clams. For tag and return, we notch the clam at the edge of its shell. When the clam is later recovered, we can measure the shell growth past the original notch. (Photo: Keith Michael)
    A NIWA diver checks the performance of the hydraulic dredge to ensure the water is pumping out properly. (Photo: Steve Mercer)
    Growing commercial interest is raising questions about subtidal surf clams and sustainability of the resource.
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    Running rings around climate change

    PDF of this article (344 KB)
    Ancient kauri at Manaia Sanctuary, Coromandel Peninsula. (Photo: Tony Bewlay)
    A sub-fossil kauri log, about 50 000 years old, from Omaha Flats. (Photo: Drew Lorrey)
    Kaihu Kauri Sawmill owner Nelson Parker cuts a series of ‘biscuit’ samples from some trees that were extracted from a swamp near Dargaville. (Photo: Drew Lorrey)
    Tree ring sequences from kauri buildings, such as this kauri dam, can be used for constructing chronologies. (Photo: Gretel Boswijk)
    Jonathan Palmer removes a core from a kauri tree in Northland.
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    "Detergent of the atmosphere"

    PDF of this article (381 KB)
    Annual mean OH concentrations near the earth’s surface, calculated with a chemistry-transport model. (Map: J. Lelieveld, et al. (2004). Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 4: 2337–2344.)
    Key reactions in the photo-oxidation of trace gases. (Graphic: Katja Riedel)
    Katja Riedel and Keith Lassey explain how OH, the hydroxyl radical, works to cleanse the atmosphere of harmful trace gases. What happens to the millions of tonnes of gases that nature and human kind lob into the atmosphere every year?
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    Hidden potential for harmful algal blooms in our ports and harbours

    PDF of this article (327 KB)
    Two-cell and eight-cell chains of the harmful dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum. (Photo: Hoe Chang)
    The vegetative phase and the sexual phase of the dinoflagellate life cycle. (Graphic: Erika Mackay)
    Resting cysts of the harmful dinoflagellates Alexandrium tamarense (left) and Alexandrium minutum. (Photos: Hoe Chang)
    Spiny resting cysts of the harmless dinoflatellates Protoperidinium conicum (left) and Gonyaulax scrippsae.
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    News: PM launches major Antarctic biodiversity voyage - Update from IceCUBE

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    NIWA Chief Executive John Morgan greets PM Helen Clark at the voyage launch at Queens Wharf, Wellington. (Photo: Alan Blacklock)
    Ribbon worms, seastars, a brittlestar, and a gastropod snail from the seafloor at Granite Harbour. (Photo: Rod Budd)
    PM launches major Antarctic biodiversity voyage Though the ship was heading into the most extensive sea ice seen in the Ross Sea for 30 years, it was a sunny day in late January when Prime Minister Helen Clark farewelled the 26 scientists and 18 crew onboard RV Tangaroa.
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    News: Dancing in the dark: VIE tags and ASUs - Sharks on the move

     PDF of this article (84 KB)
    Under a blue light, coloured VIE tags glow inside juvenile snapper tagged in last year's trials. (Photo: Keren Spong)
    A great white shark tagged at the Chatham Islands in 2005 returns to feed on bait. The electronic popup tag is visible just below the dorsal fin.
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    News: Letting it rip at Raglan - State of the Environment reporting made easy - New ocean profiler for NIWA

     PDF of this article (90 KB)
    Letting it rip at Raglan
    Closely followed by a rescue boat, the volunteer victim heads for a nearby rip, while his movements are monitored by GPS and observers onshore. (Photos: Darcel Rickard)
    In January, scientists from NIWA joined forces with Surf Life Saving New Zealand to investigate the behaviour of rips. For the experiment they ‘placed’ a surf lifeguard in a rip and followed his trajectory as he was carried offshore.
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    News: Visiting scientists: - Studying sea anemones and black corals at NIWA - Advances in integrated co-culture

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    One of the sea anemones studied during a taxonomy workshop for NIWA staff. (Photo: Sheryl Miller)
    Dr Tina Molodtsova examines a delicate black coral of the genus Leiopathes.
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    News: Workshops & symposia: New Zealand's Non-Living Ocean Resources - A first for squat lobsters - Algae in a Changing World - Training at NIWA

    PDF of this article (81 KB)
    Workshops & symposia: New Zealand’s Non-Living Ocean Resources: New Frontiers and Challenges 1–2 May, Te Papa, Wellington, sponsored by NIWA and GNS Science New Zealand is on the threshold of an unprecedented phase of exploration and development of non-living resources from the Exclusive Economic Zone and extended continental shelf. The area of the extended continental shelf is still subject to discussions with the UN and negotiations with adjacent states, but together these areas include an offshore region three-quarters the size of Australia.
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    News: Taking responsibility for the health of water ecosystems - Risks of contaminated 'wild kai'

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    The Te Kūwaha delegates join Betsan Martin from the RESPONSE Trust. (Photo: Anaru Luke, DOC)
    The beauty of the beaches of Samoa drives home the importance of preserving healthy water ecosystems. (Photo: Kimberley Maxwell)
    Taking responsibility for the health of water ecosystems Pacific Island states have characteristics that make them especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, sea-level rise, and extreme weather events.
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    Getting picky with paua: selective breeding to improve productivity

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    Family portrait: paua broodstock and their offspring. (Photo: Graeme Moss)
    Paua grow-out facility at OceaNZ Blue Ltd. (Photo: OceaNZ Blue Ltd)
    Jane Symonds and Phil Heath are working with industry partners to develop superior broodstock. There’s a high demand worldwide for the seafood delicacy known here as paua, and elsewhere as abalone. A decline in wild stocks due to over-fishing and poaching means that the global market for this tasty gastropod is greatly undersupplied.
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    A day in the field: Under the ice with Rod Budd

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    Rod checks out the conditions before the next diver enters the water. (Photo: Greig Funnell)
    Diving under two metres of Antarctic ice in water that’s –2 °C: this is Rod Budd’s idea of fun. Getting to do it for work is just the icing on the cake (so to speak). For the past seven years, Rod has helped out with IceCUBE, NIWA’s benthic marine biodiversity programme in the Ross Sea (see Update from IceCUBE).
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    Using Water & Atmosphere in your classroom

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    One of NIWA’s aims with this magazine is to contribute to science education in New Zealand. To this end we distribute Water & Atmosphere without charge to New Zealand high schools. Articles are assigned ‘Curriculum Connections’ to indicate which of the NZ NCEA Achievement or Unit Standards they can complement as a classroom resource.