Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Ross Sea 2004 Discovery voyage begins

Ross Sea 2004 Discovery voyage begins

A discovery voyage to the Ross Sea, Antarctica, begins next week, Monday 26 January, 100 years after the famous 1902 - 1904 voyage to Antarctica by Captain Robert Scott in his ship "Discovery".

The 2004 discovery research project, "Ross Sea 2004", will take place from January to March 2004. It is jointly funded by the Ministry of Fisheries and Land Information New Zealand, uses NIWA divers and scientists, and is in cooperation with the Italian Antarctic Research Programme.

The project is highly likely to discover species new to the region and to science. It aims to improve understanding and knowledge of the biodiversity of the Ross Sea, and the ability to effectively manage human activities in the region. It will also provide scientific information to support New Zealand's efforts to establish a protected area around, and including, the Balleny Islands archipelago. Another benefit will be valuable baseline biodiversity information for the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)

The Ministry of Fisheries is funding the New Zealand research through the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy research programme "BioRoss", established to improve our understanding of the biodiversity of the Ross Sea.

Two research vessels will be used: NIWA's Research Vessel Tangaroa, and the Italian Research Vessel Italica.

On board the New Zealand Research Vessel Tangaroa, between 28 January and 13 March 2004, a team of New Zealand and Italian scientists will investigate the biodiversity of deepwater invertebrates and fish communities of the Ross Sea and the seamounts around the Balleny Islands.

Land Information New Zealand is funding a team of hydrographers to continue work charting the Ross Sea. They will share the vessel time on the RV Tangaroa.

The marine research team will describe and quantify the diversity of bottom dwelling invertebrates and fish communities, and try to determine the importance of different environmental factors influencing these communities.

On board the Italian Research Vessel Italica, from 26 January until 5 March 2004, a New Zealand scientific dive team will investigate the biodiversity and community structure of the Ross Sea coastal zone. The RV Italica will work between Terra Nova Bay and Cape Adare, allowing the researchers to investigate whether there is a change in biodiversity or community structure as they move further north.

The surveys will improve understanding of the processes and functions binding Antarctic species in an ecological community. Previous research on species diversity and abundance has revealed strong patterns, but there is insufficient information to predict the likely impact on Ross Sea marine communities of changes in ice conditions resulting from climate change or human activities.

In order to collect as much information as possible, a system called "Multibeam" will be used. This is an acoustic mapping tool which shows a picture of the seafloor, and allows scientists to examine the communities living there. Grabs, dredges and trawl nets will be used to retrieve specimens. The RV Tangaroa will work between Coulman Island in the south and the Balleny Islands to the north, depending on sea-ice conditions.

To view the daily diary and voyage discoveries, see

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Voluntary Administration: Renaissance Brewing Up For Sale

Renaissance Brewing, the first local company to raise capital through equity crowdfunding, is up for sale after cash flow woes and product management issues led to the appointment of voluntary administrators. More>>


Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>


Media Mega Merger: Full Steam Ahead For Appeal

New Zealand's two largest news publishers have confirmed they are committed to pursuing their appeal against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>


Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>