Coasts and Oceans news

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

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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.

A two‑year ocean and coastal survey project in the Bay of Islands is now complete, Land Information New Zealand announced today.

What is known about life in the ocean? Even though it’s the biggest habitat on the planet, most of the ocean remains unexplored biologically. So what do we know? And how does New Zealand’s biodiversity compare with the rest of the world?

A New Zealand sponge has been selected for the prestigious international Top 10 species of the year. Each year, an international Top 10 New Species selection committee selects the 10 most notable new species described from around the world.

NIWA’s research vessel Tangaroa will set sail next week to explore the minerals potential of deep-sea volcanoes of the Kermadec Arc, 200 km north-east of Auckland

Snapper are New Zealand’s most prized fish; they are the fish fishermen love-to-love. They live in a wide range of habitats in New Zealand’s warmer coastal waters, around the North Island and the top of the South, and prefer depths of 5–60 metres. They grow to a decent size: up to 105 cm in length.

Think you’ve got your favourite surf beach to yourself? Think again! There’s life hidden beneath those waves.

“It may look barren, but the high-energy surf zone of exposed beaches is a very productive place, second only to coastal upwellings,” says Keith Michael, a fisheries scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). “It’s rich in phytoplankton [microscopic plants], such as diatoms, that provide a constant ‘soup’ for animals tough enough to survive the waves.”

If you’re surfing the North Island beaches this summer don’t be surprised if the sleek bronze body next to you riding the waves is that of a bronze whaler shark.

Potentially lethal to swimmers, while providing a handy tow for experienced surfers, rips are a hazard on most of New Zealand’s favourite swimming and surfing beaches.

The scientific name for New Zealand’s iconic black-footed pāua captures its shape and iridescent hues perfectly: Haliotis iris means ‘ear-shell rainbow’.

The decorator crabs, or camouflaged crabs, are very different creatures from the paddle crab. They’re slow movers that rely on disguise to evade predators, decorating their shells with whatever flotsam and jetsam comes to claw.

Harnessing tidal power for electricity generation will be a landmark in broadening New Zealand’s already impressive renewable energy portfolio, a marine energy conference is to be told.

“In the drive to replace non-renewable fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, marine energy is emerging as a viable option in the near-future and a real complement to wind, geothermal and hydro resources,” says NIWA oceanographer, Dr Craig Stevens.

A New Zealand great white shark has set a world record for the deepest ever known dive of 1200 metres.

A carnivorous sponge with ‘lip-shaped’ spicules has been identified from the dark depths of the ocean.

NIWA scientists are in the pink! They’re studying the deep candy pink or purple coralline algae, abundant around the New Zealand shoreline and throughout the world, which play a vital role in marine ecosystems.

The results from 19 sea-level gauges around New Zealand reveal that six locations had peak wave heights of over one metre generated by a magnitude 8.8 earthquake off Chile on 27 February.

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