Coasts and Oceans news

News and media releases related to the our coasts and oceans-related work.

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NIWA’s research vessel Kaharoa set sail from Wellington today, destined for Lyttelton and equipped with seismic survey gear to survey an area of southern Pegasus Bay.

Preliminary results from the first comprehensive survey of the Cook Strait Canyon seabed have begun to reveal tantalising scientific secrets about New Zealand's largest underwater canyon.

Targeted geological sampling and imaging by NIWA scientists next week will help understand active seabed processes in one of New Zealand's largest seafloor features.

It looks like a slimy worm –- but it lives in the sea! The common sea cucumber is a sluggish creature, brown and blotchy, designed to blend in with its habitat: rocky reefs and sandy bottoms.

It is sub tidal and can be found at depths up to 100 metres, all around the coast of New Zealand.

"They look like a worm crossed with a sausage, and the adults can grow to 20 cm and live for five years," says NIWA aquaculture scientist Jeanie Stenton-Dozey.

The rig shark can be found all around New Zealand at this time of year, from spring to summer. It is found in coastal waters, estuaries and inlets, down to a depth of 200 metres.

Over the long hot summer many kiwis will be digging deep in the sand for pipi. These yummy shellfish live buried in the sand and are free at the beach! 

A shy, slimy, ancient fish, that looks like an eel but isn't. It has a circular sucker for a mouth, and feeds by rasping a hole in its victim's fishy-flesh.

Next time you bring home fish and chips, consider a sprinkling of health-giving seaweed.

On New Year's Day, NIWA's research vessel Tangaroa departs for its first voyage, since its recent $20 million dollar upgrade, making its twentieth consecutive trip to the Chatham Rise to study the abundance of important fish species.

Washed up like a jellyfish on the sand this summer? New Zealand has the moon jelly, spotted jellyfish, and lion's mane, and all three jellyfish are prevalent in our coastal waters all around the country, and the ocean, at this time of year. Jellyfish have weak powers of direction, they drift into bays, and tides and currents wash them up.

The return of the upgraded RV Tangaroa represents a huge advancement for New Zealand science and exploration

NIWA today welcomed home RV Tangaroa, New Zealand’s only deepwater research vessel, after a $20 million dollar upgrade to enhance its ocean science and survey capabilities.

NIWA’s coastal scientists met with members of the Whitianga community last week, and thanked them for their input into a NIWA research project, Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change.

NIWA looks below Antarctic ice shelves to investigate the polar ocean system with a new high-tech probe.

A feeding frenzy of cusk-eels where nothing was previously thought to live, an entirely new species of deep-sea fish, and large crustacean scavengers, are among the highlights of a recent research expedition that is shedding new light on the ecology of deepest places on Earth.

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and National Institute of Water & Atmosphere (NIWA) today launched a new web portal providing free public access to data gathered by the Bay of Islands Ocean Survey 20/20 project.

NIWA scientists are working at the cutting edge of earthquake research, developing new ways to interpret the history of undersea earthquakes occurring on major faultlines around New Zealand. This work will help scientists determine the likelihood of damaging earthquakes from underwater faults close to the coast.

NIWA’s Sustainable Aquaculture project was recently awarded six years of research funding by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology to help grow New Zealand aquaculture in an environmentally sustainable way.

Highly detailed maps of New Zealand’s seabed are now freely available on NIWA’s website.

The aptly named ‘Rumble III’ undersea volcano on the Kermadec Ridge, 200 km northeast of Auckland, has dropped in height by 120 metres in the last couple of years, pioneering research by NIWA has shown.

The 2010 winner of the prestigious New Zealand Marine Science Award is NIWA principal scientist, Dr Simon Thrush, in recognition of his enormous contribution to estuarine and coastal studies not only in New Zealand but internationally.

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