Archives For NIWA

New Zealand is a global hotspot for sea sponges, they are the most common marine invertebrates around New Zealand’s coastline. Some could be mistaken for colourful splashes of paint on rocks, while others look like lace, seaweed, or fungi.

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Scientists aboard the research vessel Tangaroa returned home last week after six weeks in the Southern Ocean studying the marine ecosystems around Antarctica.

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A joint 10-year Department of Conservation (DOC) and NIWA project to find out more about the great white sharks that inhabit New Zealand waters is coming to an end.

Great white shark with acoustic tag. Photo: Clinton Duffy / DOC.

Great white shark with acoustic tag

DOC’s Clinton Duffy, is one of several scientists who have spent the past decade tagging great whites—a protected species—and following their movements.

Clinton has a database of more than 100 sharks identified from their colour pattern and the shape of the dorsal fin.

Some familiar faces are seen each year at tagging time, because many sharks return annually to the same place.

White shark with acoustic tag. Photo: Clinton Duffy / DOC

Great white shark with acoustic tag

Because so few of us are lucky enough to meet a great white in flesh and fin, we thought we’d take this opportunity to introduce you to a handful of the great whites that frequent New Zealand waters:

Scarface is a bit of a character—inquisitive and a little aggressive:

Caro is one of the biggest female sharks we are tagging (3.7 metres) and certainly not shy:

Houdini, really lives up to his name. He evaded tagging for some time but eventually we put a popup tag on him:

Watch more videos (meet Pip and Ella!) and read more information about the great white shark research on NIWA’s website.