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

 


Video: New finds from the deep sea off New Zealand

From left to right,
Steve Bailey, Dr Alan Jamieson, Te Papa’s Andrew Stewart.
Holding specimens of deep-sea cusk eel, cosmopolitan rattail
and new eelpout. Photo credit: Malcolm Clark,
NIWA
Click for big version.

From left to right, Steve Bailey, Dr Alan Jamieson, Te Papa’s Andrew Stewart.
Holding specimens of deep-sea cusk eel, cosmopolitan rattail and new eelpout.
Photo credit: Malcolm Clark, NIWA

NIWA Media Release
4 February 2013

New finds from the deep sea off New Zealand

Scientists have returned from a two-week survey to the north of New Zealand, near the Kermadec Islands, with photos and footage of new-to-science fish.

In seven days of sampling, they took over 6500 photographs, and caught about 100 fish.

They have discovered a new species of eelpout, and new records of a rattail fish that hasn’t previously been caught in the southwest Pacific, another rattail that hasn’t been caught in New Zealand waters for over 100 years and a large deep sea cusk eel.

One of the species of rattail found by the scientists, called the Cosmopolitan Rattail, was first caught off New Zealand by the HMS Challenger in a global scientific expedition in the 1870s.

Large numbers of amphipods, like marine sand-hoppers, were also sampled to continue work previously carried out by the team in the Kermadec Trench.


Footage of cosmopolitan rattails feeding on the bait at 4500m depth. Video: University of Aberdeen/NIWA.

The voyage covered waters well below the depth that light penetrates, sampling depths between one to six kilometres on the edge of the Kermadec Trench. It is one of the deepest places on earth with depths exceeding 10 kilometres.

The scientists onboard RV Kaharoa, from the University of Aberdeen, NIWA, and Te Papa used landers, with cameras attached that free-fall to the seafloor, as well as baited fish traps to attract animals.

Voyage Leader, Dr Alan Jamieson, from the University of Aberdeen says, “The amount of data recovered during the survey was considerable. A lot can be learnt and achieved by using fairly basic equipment in the deep sea.”

The new data added to information collected from the Kermadec Trench in three previous voyages on RV Kaharoa by the Aberdeen-NIWA team.

NIWA Principal Scientist Dr Malcolm Clark says, “The international collaboration enables New Zealand researchers to use scientific equipment we don’t have, and to sample places that would otherwise be inaccessible, and hence unknown.

“The results from this deep exploration are giving us a much better understanding of biodiversity in the deep sea around New Zealand, and enable us to better assess potential risks to the ecosystem from future climate change and even human activities which may include seabed mining.”


A deep-sea cusk eel and large skate at 2000m depth. Video: University of Aberdeen/NIWA

Deep sea areas seem beyond the reach of exploitation but Dr Clark says that “mining is a prospect in some areas of the Pacific at depths of four to five kilometres in the near future.”

Dr Jamieson says, “A voyage such as this is testament to how feasible scientific research in the deep sea has become. It is no longer the inaccessible, out of reach, part of the world it once was. The technological challenges of the past no longer exist, and shouldn’t limit our responsibility to learn about and understand the deep sea to help ensure the long term health of the deep oceans, one of the largest environments on earth.”

The new specimens will be held at the National Fish Collection at the Museum of New Zealand/Te Papa Tongarewa.

The amphipod samples will be registered in NIWA's Invertebrate Collection.

Funding for this voyage is primarily from the Marine Alliance for Science & Technology for Scotland (MASTS), and is supported by NIWA's Deep-sea Communities project funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Full: Dairy Payouts Steady, Cash Will Be Tight

Industry body DairyNZ is advising farmers to focus on strong cashflow management as they look ahead to the 2015-16 season following Fonterra's half-year results announcement today. More>>

ALSO:

First Union: Cotton On Plans To Use “Tea Break” Law

“The Prime Minister reassured New Zealanders that ‘post the passing of this law, will you all of a sudden find thousands of workers who are denied having a tea break? The answer is absolutely not’... Cotton On is proposing to remove tea and meal breaks for workers in its safety sensitive distribution centre. How long before other major chains try and follow suit?” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ-Korea FTA Signed Amid Spying, Lost Sovereignty Claims

A long-awaited free trade agreement between New Zealand and South Korea has been signed in Seoul by Prime Minister John Key and the Korean president, Park Geun-hye. More>>

ALSO:

PM Visit: NZ And Viet Nam Agree Ambitious Trade Target

New Zealand and Viet Nam have agreed an ambitious target of doubling two-way goods and service trade to around $2.2 billion by 2020, Prime Minister John Key has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Economy Grows 0.8% In Fourth Quarter

The New Zealand economy expanded in the fourth quarter as tourists drove growth in retailing and accommodation, and property sales increased demand for real estate services. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ’s Wheeler Keeps OCR On Hold, No Rate Hikes Ahead

The Reserve Bank has removed the prospect of future interest rate hikes from its forecast horizon as a strong kiwi dollar and cheap oil hold down inflation, and the central bank ponders whether to lower its assessment of where “neutral” interest rates should be. The kiwi dollar gained. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news