A feeding frenzy of cusk-eels where nothing was previously thought to live, an entirely new species of deep-sea fish, and large crustacean scavengers, are among the highlights of a recent research expedition that is shedding new light on the ecology of deepest places on Earth.
Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and National Institute of Water & Atmosphere (NIWA) today launched a new web portal providing free public access to data gathered by the Bay of Islands Ocean Survey 20/20 project.
NIWA scientists are working at the cutting edge of earthquake research, developing new ways to interpret the history of undersea earthquakes occurring on major faultlines around New Zealand. This work will help scientists determine the likelihood of damaging earthquakes from underwater faults close to the coast.
NIWA’s Sustainable Aquaculture project was recently awarded six years of research funding by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology to help grow New Zealand aquaculture in an environmentally sustainable way.
The aptly named ‘Rumble III’ undersea volcano on the Kermadec Ridge, 200 km northeast of Auckland, has dropped in height by 120 metres in the last couple of years, pioneering research by NIWA has shown.
The 2010 winner of the prestigious New Zealand Marine Science Award is NIWA principal scientist, Dr Simon Thrush, in recognition of his enormous contribution to estuarine and coastal studies not only in New Zealand but internationally.
What is known about life in the ocean? Even though it’s the biggest habitat on the planet, most of the ocean remains unexplored biologically. So what do we know? And how does New Zealand’s biodiversity compare with the rest of the world?
A New Zealand sponge has been selected for the prestigious international Top 10 species of the year. Each year, an international Top 10 New Species selection committee selects the 10 most notable new species described from around the world.
Snapper are New Zealand’s most prized fish; they are the fish fishermen love-to-love. They live in a wide range of habitats in New Zealand’s warmer coastal waters, around the North Island and the top of the South, and prefer depths of 5–60 metres. They grow to a decent size: up to 105 cm in length.
Think you’ve got your favourite surf beach to yourself? Think again! There’s life hidden beneath those waves.
“It may look barren, but the high-energy surf zone of exposed beaches is a very productive place, second only to coastal upwellings,” says Keith Michael, a fisheries scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). “It’s rich in phytoplankton [microscopic plants], such as diatoms, that provide a constant ‘soup’ for animals tough enough to survive the waves.”
The decorator crabs, or camouflaged crabs, are very different creatures from the paddle crab. They’re slow movers that rely on disguise to evade predators, decorating their shells with whatever flotsam and jetsam comes to claw.
Harnessing tidal power for electricity generation will be a landmark in broadening New Zealand’s already impressive renewable energy portfolio, a marine energy conference is to be told.
“In the drive to replace non-renewable fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, marine energy is emerging as a viable option in the near-future and a real complement to wind, geothermal and hydro resources,” says NIWA oceanographer, Dr Craig Stevens.