MenuMain navigation

2015 - Antarctic Ecosystems

Research focussed on the feeding areas of cetaceans, primarily blue whales and humpback whales, to better understand factors affecting their numbers and distribution. Work was also undertaken in the Ross Sea Slope area to explore any ecosystem effects of commercial toothfish fishing.

Whales were located using underwater listening technology called 'passive acoustics' and visual observations. Observations of prey species were also made using multifrequency echosounders onboard Tangaroa, along with mesopelagic (midwater) and demersal (seabed) trawling.

Special equipment was installed in Terra Nova Bay to record the winter spawning activities of Antarctic silverfish - a key species in the Antarctic marine foodweb.

Throughout the voyage, continuous measurements of atmosphere and ocean were made - contributing vital data to the global drive for improved weather forecasts and climate change predictions.  This voyage arrived back in Wellington on 11th March 2015. 

Read the media release from the conclusion of the voyage

View an album of videos from the voyage 

Voyage overview

Read details about the aims of the voyage and find information about the scientists and crew on board.

The science

Read about the science that will be undertaken during the voyage.

News about the Antarctic voyage

Access information about the voyage, news releases, key contacts and dates, images and videos.

About RV Tangaroa

New Zealand's only ice-strengthened, deepwater research vessel.

Image gallery

A selection of images relating to the New Zealand-Australia Antarctic Ecosystems Voyage. We will be adding images from the voyage as they are sent back from the vessel.

Partners and funding

Read about our key partnerships and funding for this voyage.

Latest Antarctica news

NIWA heads to Antarctica for critical climate, ocean research

NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa leaves soon on a six-week voyage to Antarctica, making it one of the few full scientific expeditions to the continent since the global outbreak of COVID-19.

Nameless nodes get new look from NIWA

At the bottom of the Southern Ocean, near Cape Adare in East Antarctica, lies an undersea ridge which until this month was only known by its co-ordinates: -71.2132 latitude, 172.1649 longitude.