Taking the pulse of Antarctica’s ocean ecosystem

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NIWA scientists have anchored an echosounder to the sea floor of Terra Nova Bay that could reveal the mystery of silverfish reproduction under the Antarctic ice.

Silverfish are important in the marine food web, providing a link between zooplankton and predators like penguins seals, and toothfish. While silverfish eggs are observed in abundance in Terra Nova Bay every spring, no-one knows whether the fish migrate into the bay to lay them under the cover of the winter ice, or if the eggs wash in on the current.

NIWA scientists have anchored an echosounder to the sea floor of Terra Nova Bay that could reveal the mystery of silverfish reproduction under the Antarctic ice.

 

Fisheries technician Fiona Elliot says the echosounder will remain in place until about January 2016, when science colleagues from the Italian station in Terra Nova Bay will retrieve the device for analysis.

21 NIWA and Australian Antarctic Division scientists and the 19-strong crew on NIWA’s deepwater research vessel Tangaroa are on the homeward leg of the 2015 ecosystems voyage researching the foodwebs of the ocean’s top predators – humpback and blue whales, and Antarctic toothfish.

RV Tangaroa and her complement of scientists return to Wellington Wednesday 11 March to begin the process of collating the ecosystems voyage research.

Further information 

Read more about the New Zealand-Australia Antarctic Ecosystems Voyage 2015

Contact

For more information, please contact:

Cameron Williamson
Senior Media Advisor
Niwa Wellington
04 386 0839

Research subject: AntarcticaBiodiversityFish