New Zealand’s marine and freshwater environments are extremely important for our economic and social welfare, but they are under constant pressure from human uses and introductions of new invasive species.
There are more than 150 exotic marine species in New Zealand’s coastal waters already, and at least one new species arrives every year according to a report in NIWA’s new Aquatic Biodiversity & Biosecurity newsletter, published today.
A NIWA research voyage using RV Tangaroa has returned to Auckland on Thursday, 2 May, after three weeks of frontier mapping of undiscovered volcanoes between the North Island and the Kermadec Islands 1000 km to the north of New Zealand. Prior to the voyage little was known about this segment of the Pacific “Ring of Fire”.
The announcement last week that the Maui gas field might run out 2 years early is a worry because New Zealand relies on natural gas for much of its energy needs. There are also emission problems associated with burning fossil fuels, and fossil fuels are not renewable. So, where can we get the energy we need if we want to increase our economic prosperity and improve our standard of living, without damaging the environment?
A NIWA voyage, using RV Tangaroa, will leave Auckland on Wednesday, 10 April, for 22 days to undertake frontier research of undiscovered volcanoes between New Zealand and the Kermadec Islands. These volcanoes form possibly one of the least known segments of the “Pacific Ring of Fire”. Dr Ian Wright of NIWA is leading the project.
The giant squid (Architeuthis), the world’s largest invertebrate, has never been seen alive – until now. A new Discovery Channel special joins an international expedition team in the waters off New Zealand as they succeed in capturing living juvenile specimens for the first time. The juveniles were found in the larval stage, ranging in size from 9 to 13 millimetres. The expedition, fully funded by the Discovery Channel, was undertaken in cooperation with NIWA and led by marine biologist Dr Steve O’Shea.
Two high-tech recording buoys shaped like dive tanks will be released into the Pacific Ocean this month by NIWA scientists as part of an international programme to understand and predict phenomena influencing the world‘s climate.
The buoys, worth $35,000 each, will provide real-time measurements of the temperature and salinity of the upper ocean that will help forecast long-term climate change, and events like El Niño and tropical cyclones.
In February 1999, New Zealand scientists led an international research expedition to the remote Southern Ocean,to artificially initiate an algal bloom by adding dissolved iron to the sea. The results of this expedition are published today in a series of papers in the prestigious scientific journal Nature.
French and New Zealand scientists are examining sediments deposited over the last two million years in the offshore Wanganui Basin.
The French scientists are from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the University of Rennes, and they are working with geologists and geophysicists from NIWA (the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research).
Their aim is to study the most recently active submarine faults in the basin and the influence of sea-level changes on the sequence in which the sediment was deposited.
The abundance and sizes of fish within the Kapiti Marine Reserve have impressed research divers who have just completed a survey to assess how well the marine environment has recovered since it was protected in 1992.
French researchers are now, or soon to be, closely involved in a range of New Zealand environmental and marine studies taking in such diverse activities as migratory problems of fish including eels, the foraging habits of royal albatross in southern oceans, and the potential tsunami impact of undersea landslides.