Oceans

Recording old oceans centre tag.

Latest news

NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa will sail out of Wellington Harbour on Sunday for the first scientific voyage since the lockdown.
A deep dive into the collection of an Auckland War Memorial Museum has revealed an extremely rare albino shark.
A little can mean a lot – especially when it comes to the relationship between sea level rise and coastal flooding.
A giant squid and several glow-in-the-dark sharks were surprise finds for NIWA scientists last month on the Chatham Rise during a voyage to survey hoki, New Zealand’s most valuable commercial fish species.

Our work

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.
Where and when do white sharks occur in New Zealand waters, and how can fisheries bycatch be reduced?

Latest videos

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.

Seabed Frontier: A Brief History of Bathymetry

NIWA marine geologist John Mitchell gives a brief history of bathymetric (seabed) charting, and how it's been carried out over the last few hundred years. (01:18) 

Big Fish, Calm Sea - White Shark Tagging off Stewart Island

Tagging White Sharks off Stewart Island, NZ Scientists from DOC, NIWA, and the University of Auckland are building a unique picture of New Zealand's great white shark population.

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.
Understanding the complexity of tidal resources in New Zealand’s coastal waters and examining how extracting tidal energy would influence and be influenced by this variability.
Satellite images can be used to measure phytoplankton biomass in the ocean around New Zealand in order to understand ocean ecosystems, fish populations and greenhouse gas absorbtion.
A survey of valuable ore deposits and ecosystems along the volcanic Kermadec Ridge north of New Zealand, designed to inform both potential development and management of seabed resources in the area.
In 2004, scientists added iron salts to surface Sub-Antarctic waters east of New Zealand's South Island to determine whether this stimulated phytoplankton growth, and to examine the exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) and trace gases between the atmosphere and ocean.
This research 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.
This project uses the analysis of ocean floor sediments to help discover a 20,000 year history of major earthquakes in the Alpine Fault and Hikurangi region.
The Coasts and Oceans Centre provides research services in a range of areas

NIWA combines systematics and taxonomic expertise and resources to help meet the requirements of the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and related international initiatives. Our biosecurity work ranges from identifying invasive marine species to managing aquatic weeds.

Underwater canyon mapping reveals more seafloor secrets

Underwater canyon mapping reveals more seafloor secrets

This diagram shows cross-section views of the Moeraki/Haast channel system.

NIWA scientists have completed another successful voyage to the west coast of the South Island to study the enormous underwater canyon system in the area.
During the 15-day voyage, RV Tangaroa crossed the canyons region collecting mulitbeam bathymetry to map two tributary systems of the Cook/Hokitika canyon system and an additional 400 kilometres of the Moeraki/Haast canyon system.

Know your beach with Coastal Explorer

No-fish zone protects life on the seabed

Where do baby oysters go?

Tangaroa upgrades undersea currents technology

New Zealand Regional Bathymetry Chart

Tidal creeks - important sinks for fine sediment

Tidal creeks - important sinks for fine sediment

The silt-laden Mangemangeroa creek – taking sedimentation pressure off the Hauraki Gulf. (Photo: Andrew Swales, NIWA)

Tidal creeks that fringe many of our estuaries play an important role in trapping eroded catchment sediment. This is an unexpected finding of a three-year study in the Mangemangeroa Creek, one of many that connect catchments to the Hauraki Gulf.

New measures for shellfish health

Colour clues to ocean productivity

Tidal creeks - important sinks for fine sediment

Gathering fishers' stories

After 50 days in Antarctica, NIWA Vessels staff and scientists worked hard over Easter preparing RV Tangaroa for a month-long voyage along the Macquarie Ridge southwest of New Zealand. Scientists from New Zealand and Australia are on-board.

Huge undersea landslide discovered in Cook Strait

Huge undersea landslide discovered in Cook Strait

Scars, indicating large-scale slope failures, are clearly visible at a depth of around 140 m in Cook Strait.

Undersea mapping in Cook Strait has revealed detail of massive rock movements around a huge canyon, Nicholson Canyon, less than 15 km from Wellington Airport.
Using state-of-the-art multibeam equipment, scientists have discovered that the canyon walls are very steep. The over-300 m high walls have clearly visible scars indicating a large-scale slope collapse or landslide.

New Zealand conducted a major biological survey of the Ross Sea, in the Antarctic, as part of the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML) and International Polar Year (IPY).

Recyclers of the coastal zone

Argo deployment reaches new milestones

Dr Drew Lohrer setting up benthic chambers on Waitemata Harbour sandflats. (Photo: Luca Chiaroni, NIWA)

Worldwide, there is growing recognition of the services nature provides that effectively sustain life and business on our planet. NIWA research is highlighting the vital services provided by estuarine ecosystems and the threats they face.
Estuaries act as filters and recyclers: processing nutrients, contaminants, and sediments that are washed off the land.

What lies beneath Wellington Harbour?

New insight on sediment processes

Recyclers of the coastal zone

The changing map of Antarctica

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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
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Fisheries Acoustics Scientist
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Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS) Numerical Modeller
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Marine Sedimentologist
General Manager - Operations
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Marine Invertebrate Systematist
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Marine Physics Modeller
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Principal Scientist - Marine Physics
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Physical Oceanographer
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Marine Biologist (Biosecurity)
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Freshwater Fish Ecologist
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Principal Technician - Marine Geology
Algal Ecologist
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