Please select your home edition
Edition
PredictWind.com 2014

Census time for fish and habitats on New Zealand's continental shelf

by NIWA on 10 May 2011
A sponge garden with gorgonians DTIS - in 70 m water off North Cape NIWA
NIWA's latest voyage of discovery will examine the expansive continental shelf around New Zealand looking for our biodiversity hotspots.

NIWA's Research Vessel Tangaroa sets sail tomorrow, on the second 25-day leg of a 42-day voyage of discovery, to survey biodiversity and habitat hotspots.

Tangaroa will be examining a part of the most extraordinary undersea continent on Earth, some of it never before explored. Scientists will focus on areas at depths between 40-200 metres around New Zealand's continental shelf.

The aim of the Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), Ministry of Fisheries, and Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI), funded voyage is to improve our knowledge of 'living habitats', and their biodiversity, ecological, and fisheries roles on the continental shelf.

The voyage leader, NIWA fisheries ecology scientist Dr Mark Morrison, says the team is 'hoping to discover new and important ecological habitats, and see what fish and other species are associated with them, so that we can better manage them.'

Tangaroa will journey from Wellington to Fiordland; around the southern area of Stewart Island to the Southland coast including: Kaikoura to the north, Canterbury Bight, the Otago shelf , Solander Island, Puysegur Bank, and the coast off Dusky Sound. Then Tangaroa will head up to Mahia Peninsula in the East Cape Region, before ending up in Auckland, a trip distance of 2700 km.

Key sites will be mapped and assessed for their seafloor-associated plant and animal collections.

The scientists are working to develop a national fish-habitat classification scheme. The scheme will classify habitats from estuaries right out onto the continental shelf.

The classification scheme will also identify potential threats and stressors to the environment. For example, sediment from the land impacts on fish habitats, as does over-fishing, mining and dredging.

Gathering information from the seafloor Scientists on the R.V. Tangaroa will use a number of techniques to gather information during the voyage.

The Deep Towed Imaging System camera (DTIS) will be used to take pictures and videos of deep-sea biodiversity and seafloor habitats at every stage of the journey capturing more than 200 hours of underwater footage,' says Dr Morrison.
Multi-beam echo sounders will be used to image large areas of the seafloor, which will then be combined with the DTIS footage to create three-dimensional seafloor habitat maps. Multi-beam sonar will scan a wide swath of the seabed in great detail by emitting a fan of sound beams onto the seafloor.

Biological sampling will be conducted for formal taxonomic species identifications, including key species that are 'habitat-formers' around New Zealand's mainland continental shelf.

'We will be using the multi-beam sonar to inform the biological sampling,' says Dr Morrison, 'gaining a good idea of what habitat types exist and what fish associate with them. We are especially interested in finding and identifying fish nursery habitats. From this work, we hope to be able to predict where important fish habitats occur around other areas of New Zealand's full continental shelf.

New Species We also expect to see some new species given that these habitats have not been sampled much in the past. For example, in the recent offshore Bay of Islands Ocean Survey 20/20 survey, discoveries included new species of algae, a cusk-eel, a rockfish, and a small fish known as a 'triple-fin'.

The areas of most interest to the scientists are those with outstanding or uncommon habitats. There is particular emphasis on areas where there are large numbers of organisms that group together to form a habitat, including organisms such as corals, gorgonians, bryozoans, sponges, ascidians, bivalves, tubeworms, sea pens, and hydroids. Such habitats are disproportionately important in the ecological 'goods and services' that they provide, many of which are of direct benefit to humans, such as fisheries production.

The areas that the scientists will visit are based on existing scientific knowledge of likely ecological 'hotspots', and information gleaned from interviews with 50 experienced fishers. 'We've based a lot of where we are going on the information provided to us from fishers - from the areas that they have fished in, and from historical information,' says Dr Morrison.

Dr Morrison says the surveys are very important for New Zealand fisheries and for biodiversity classification. 'If we don't know what habitats are out there, it is difficult to manage them wisely so the benefits that they provide us are NIWA website
Barz Optics - Melanin LensesBakewell-White Yacht DesignNaiad

Related Articles

A Q&A with Olympic champ Malcolm Page about his new job at US Sailing
I recently talked with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s newly hired Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job. Malcolm Page (AUS; 44) is a hyper-talented Men’s 470 sailor who won two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) sailing with two different skippers, as well as seven World Championship titles, and who has long studied under the legendary Ukrainian coach Victor Kovalenko. I recently talked with Page, who was just hired as US Sailing’s new Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 5 Dec
America's Cup - Kiwi lodges Appeal against Jury in San Francisco Cup
Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case taken against the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. On October 28, 2016, US District Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed Mitchell's claim against the five-person International Jury on the basis that it was lodged too late.
Posted on 2 Dec
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
A Q&A with Sharon Green about the prep work that ensures great images
I talked with ace photographer Sharon Green to learn more about the prep work that goes into each image that she snaps. I caught up with ace photographer Sharon Green at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn more about the behind-the-scenes preparation work that goes into each image that she snaps. While some of Green’s tips are specific to professional shooters (e.g., helicopter time or juggling multiple camera bodies), plenty of amateur lensmen will be well served to consider Green’s racecourse-proven tips.
Posted on 23 Nov
Dockside with CQS - radical, revamped supermaxi up close
The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday - the White Island Race which will double as Rolex Sydney Hobart Qualifier. Originally the 90ft Nicorette designed by South African Alex Simonis, the new project to upgrade to a 100ft supermaxi has been led by Brett Bakewell-White (NZ) and Bakewell-White Yacht Design.
Posted on 22 Nov
Gladwell's Line - President Croce caught at helm in Perfect Storm
No real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way an eight-year term After a year or more punctuated with issues that should not have happened, it is no real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way through what should have been an eight-year term. Also gone is one of his lieutenants, Chris Atkins (GBR) as Vice President, who remarkably polled 13th out of the 15 candidates.
Posted on 15 Nov
Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
Debriefing the 2016 J/70 Worlds with Winning Skipper Joel Ronning
I talked with Joel Ronning after the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn about his team’s win at this high-level regatta. Since its inception in 2012, the J/70 has become the most popular One Design boat in decades, with 1,100+ boats sailing in myriad countries. Some 68 boats from 15 countries arrived on San Francisco Bay last week to determine bragging rights at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds. I caught up with Joel Ronning to learn more about the Catapult team’s road to becoming the 2016 J/70 World Champions.
Posted on 5 Oct
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Debriefing the Rio 2016 Olympics with Team USA’s Helena Scutt
I talked with Team USA’s Helena Scutt to hear about her Olympic experience, and to learn more about her post-Rio plans. The 49erFX was introduced to Olympic circles when it replaced the Women’s Match Racing event following the 2012 Games. Not surprisingly, it drew high-performance sailors for the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Team USA’s Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. While Henken and Scutt were Olympic first-timers, they put on a strong show. I caught up with Scutt to hear more about her Olympic experience.
Posted on 8 Sep