In brief: Ambassadors survey Chatham Rise

Rebecca Gibson from Bay of Plenty and Lucy van Oosterom from Kerikeri joined NIWA’s 25-day deepsea voyage along the Chatham Rise in January.

They were chosen by the Sir Peter Blake Trust as Youth Ambassadors, to help on board New Zealand’s only deepsea exploration vessel, RV Tangaroa.

Rob Murdoch, NIWA’s General Manager Research, said Rebecca and Lucy worked on the annual Chatham Rise survey. The main aim is to estimate the abundance of hoki, New Zealand’s largest fish export, and other commercially important species, as well as other aspects of deepwater biodiversity including fish distribution, abundance and ecology.

Lucy and Rebecca have both studied marine biology. Lucy said it was the perfect chance to combine the aspects she loves about marine biology. “When I first heard about the ambassador position with the Sir Peter Blake Trust and NIWA, I knew I had to apply. Scientific research, education and public outreach – it’s what I’m all about.”

Sir Peter Blake Trust Youth Ambassadors Lucy van Oosterom (left) and Rebecca Gibson (right) on board RV Tangaroa. [Neil Bagley]