Oceans

Recording old oceans centre tag.

Latest news

A global effort by seabird researchers, including those from NIWA, has resulted in the first assessment of where the world’s most threatened seabirds spend their time.
Sadie Mills has come a long way from scaring the inhabitants of Scottish rock pools. Sarah Fraser explains.
A large, orange Scandinavian robot gives NIWA’s marine geologists an in-depth look at changes to the seafloor off Kaikōura.
New Zealanders and Pacific Island communities are on their way to having the most advanced tsunami monitoring system in the world.

Our work

We need information on the food web structures of our marine ecosystems in order to manage the effects on the ecosystem of fishing, aquaculture and mining, as well as understanding the potential impacts of climate variability and change on our oceans. 

Ocean acidification conditions around the New Zealand coast are being measured to establish baseline conditions and to quantify future change.
NIWA is conducting a five–year study to map changes in the distribution of plankton species in surface waters between New Zealand and the Ross Sea.
Our oceans are expected to become more acidic as carbon dioxide concentrations rise. This will likely have impacts on the plankton, which play a major role in ocean ecosystems and processes.

Latest videos

Antarctic science onboard NIWA’s RV Tangaroa
Researchers are working their way through a wealth of new Antarctic marine data after RV Tangaroa successfully completed its five week scientific voyage to the Ross Sea.
NIWA's Sarah Searson and Jennie Mowatt
If you want to get accurate scientific readings from the icy depths of the Ross Sea, who do you turn to?
Ocean Acidification
This video has been produced to highlight ocean acidification as a potential issue affecting the NZ shellfish aquaculture industry
Echo, Echo: Scanning the Seafloor on R.V. Tangaroa

NIWA ocean geologist Dr Joshu Mountjoy explains how the R.V. Tangaroa's multibeam system is used for bathymetric (seabed) mapping, and some of the benefits which come out of this mapping.

Sea Ice and Climate Change

Dr Mike Williams, physical oceanographer at NIWA, explains the importance of Antarctic sea ice in the Earth's ocean and climate systems and how they may be affected by climate change.

Climate Change and Deepsea Life

Dr Dave Bowden outlines concerns over the impacts of climate change on deepsea life in Antarctic waters.

Exploring Antarctic Deepsea Life

Most of the Southern Ocean outside of the narrow Antarctic continental shelf is more than 3000 m deep. This poses a real challenge for scientists studying the assemblages of animals living on the seabed.

Ocean Acidification

The oceans are an important sink for atmospheric CO2, but as they take up increasing amounts of CO2 they are becoming more acidic.

The Decline of Subantarctic Wildlife

Populations of rockhopper penguins, elephant seals, and grey-headed albatrosses in the subantarctic have declined quite markedly in recent decades.

Next Stop Antarctica

Our Far South is an expedition that aims to raise New Zealanders' awareness of the area south of Stewart Island. Gareth Morgan, Te Radar, scientists and 50 everyday Kiwis are onboard to learn and then share their experience. This is the first video produced by them, showing some of the highlights of the trip so far.

Current and Future Management of the Toothfish Fishery

NIWA fisheries scientist Dr Stuart Hanchet explains what makes the Antarctic toothfish fishery one of the best managed fisheries in the world.

Ecosystem Effects and Mitigation of the Toothfish Fishery

NIWA fisheries scientist Dr Stuart Hanchet describes the guiding principles that CCAMLR (the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Life) applies to the Antarctic toothfish fishery.

The Antarctic Toothfish Fishery

Antarctic toothfish are fished using longlines in southern Antarctic waters. NIWA fisheries scientist Alistair Dunn describes the history of the fishery and how it has been monitored.

Iron Fertilisation

Iron dissolved in the ocean is an important trace nutrient for phytoplankton – the microscopic plants that support marine food webs.

Southern Ocean Productivity

Phytoplankton – microscopic plants that drift in the sunlit waters of the world's oceans – are the engine that drives all of Antarctica's marine food webs.

Phytoplankton and Climate Change

NIWA biological oceanographer Dr Philip Boyd explains how the Southern Ocean plays a key role in controlling the world's climate, by drawing large amounts of CO2 from Earth's atmosphere into the ocean depths.

Antarctic Coastal Marine Life

Dr Vonda Cummings, benthic ecologist at NIWA, explains the special characteristics of seafloor communities living in Antarctica's coastal waters and the importance of understanding what makes them tick.

Antarctic Seabed Biodiversity

It's a common myth that the oceans surrounding Antarctica hold the most diverse array of animals on earth, but they are home to a collection of species found nowhere else.

Subantarctic Oceanography

NIWA physical oceanographer Dr Mike Williams talks about the world's largest current – the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) – and its influence on the 'oceanography' (ocean characteristics) south of New Zealand.

Seabird Diversity in the Southern Ocean

The New Zealand archipelago, particularly its subantarctic islands, is a global seabird hotspot. It's home to 25 per cent of the world's breeding seabird populations and a very diverse array of penguin, albatross, petrel and shearwater species.

Rob Murdoch is gving a few talks during the Our Far South voyage, and his talks will include a number of videos which help to contextualise his presentations.

Antarctic Sea Ice

The sea ice that forms around Antarctica in winter effectively doubles the size of the continent, and its extent has increased over recent years.

The Iron Hypothesis

NIWA biological oceanographer Dr Philip Boyd explains the iron hypothesis: what it is, its history, and some recent experiments in the Southern Ocean.

Southern Ocean Gas Exchange

The Earth's oceans – particularly the Southern Ocean – play an important role in absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other trace gases from the atmosphere.

In order to understand the roles of different processes affecting ocean atmosphere exchange of CO2 and DMS it is essential to develop quantitative models for these.

The transfer rate of most gases between the atmosphere and ocean is controlled by processes just beneath the water surface.

This programme aims to provide better predictions of changes in the ocean and climate system, particularly the way in which the ocean around New Zealand regulates greenhouse gases and clouds. 

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All staff working on this subject

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Principal Scientist - Marine Geology
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Marine Biogeochemistry Technician
Marine Mammal Acoustician
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
Fisheries Acoustics Scientist
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Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
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Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS) Numerical Modeller
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Marine Sedimentologist
Principal Scientist - Carbon Chemistry and Modelling
General Manager - Operations
Principal Scientist - Marine Geology
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Marine Invertebrate Systematist
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
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Marine Physics Modeller
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Principal Scientist - Marine Physics
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Physical Oceanographer
Freshwater Fish Ecologist
Principal Technician - Marine Geology
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