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New arrival helps to uncover what’s underwater

17 May 2018

New arrival helps to uncover what’s underwater

HBRC Science staff Anna Madarasz-Smith and Shane Gilmer with Big Blue

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council coastal and marine scientists are getting a clearer picture of what is going on deep down underwater on our coast – thanks to a new arrival.

‘Big Blue’ is a remote-operated vehicle (ROV) capable of diving down to 100 metres and filming the underwater environment.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Coastal Quality Senior Scientist Anna Madarasz-Smith says the Council bought the ROV to help map the region’s sub-tidal habitats. Much of Regional Council’s work over the next few years will be focused on describing the different types of habitats that the region has beneath the waves. The ROV has so far been deployed at sites along the Wairoa Hard to describe the type of sediment in this area, and will be used to explore areas of interest to help build a better picture of some of our seafloor features.

“Big Blue allows us to see what we can’t see from the land or the surface of the water. We can see what the seafloor is like and what algae and marine life exist down there,” says Ms Madarasz-Smith.

“It will give us a better understanding of what we have below the surface and what condition it’s in.”

The ROV can potentially also be used in lakes and to inspect hulls of boats in the Council’s biosecurity work.

Check out the video of Big Blue in action - https://youtu.be/KCqeHp0EqwM


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