Developing deep understanding of coastal and oceanic environments, fisheries, seafloor resources and aquaculture, e.g., stock assessments, biodiversity and biosecurity.

The Platform contributes to important benefits or impacts for New Zealand:

  • Enhanced stewardship of New Zealand’s marine estate, so there are increased economic returns from marine resources, and marine ecosystem integrity and biodiversity are maintained (SSIF Funding of approximately $9.9M).
  • New Zealand maximises sustainable, long-term economic benefit from its fisheries and associated ecosystems through a science-based management system accepted as international best practice (SSIF Funding of approximately $1.7M).
  • New Zealand aquaculture will be a financially and environmentally sustainable billion-dollar export-focused industry, through the production of established and emerging high-value species that meet market demand for products with verifiable quality and sustainability attributes (SSIF Funding of approximately $5.3M).

These benefits are delivered through 12 SSIF research programmes that will:

  1. Characterise the marine geological and oceanic energy resources in New Zealand, the Ross Sea region and the Southern Ocean and the physical processes and environmental factors that affect those resources. SSIF Funding of approximately $2.1M.
  2. Deliver fundamental knowledge about the diversity and distribution of the marine biota in New Zealand’s territorial waters, EEZ and Southern Ocean, over a variety of space and time scales. SSIF Funding of approximately $2.5M.
  3. Define the spatial and temporal variation in New Zealand’s ocean current flows, primary and secondary production, and determine how biogeochemical and physical oceanographic processes influence biotic variability. SSIF Funding of approximately $1.5M.
  4. Determine the structure of marine ecosystems, the interactions amongst their components that affect ecosystem stability, and develop ecosystem models. SSIF Funding of approximately $1M.
  5. Determine the characteristics and vulnerability of marine communities, habitats and ecosystems by linking knowledge of how marine ecosystems work to how they are affected by human activity, and address limits to capacity, interactions between multiple stressors, the dynamics of cumulative effects and the underlying controlling factors of ecological recovery. SSIF Funding of approximately $1.6M.
  6. Identify and evaluate biosecurity threats to marine ecosystems from non-indigenous species, and develop management tools and approaches. SSIF Funding of approximately $1.2M.
  7. Develop reliable and efficient techniques for the commercial-scale production of established and emerging high-value aquaculture species. SSIF Funding of approximately $3.8M.
  8. Develop the underpinning science, monitoring tools and farm management systems that quantify and minimise both the environmental effects and regulatory compliance costs of aquaculture while optimising production and minimising the risks to aquaculture from environmental stressors. SSIF Funding of approximately $1.5M.
  9. Develop and apply stock monitoring and assessment methodologies for New Zealand’s fisheries to enable monitoring and prediction of changes in fish population biology, fish stock biomass, and size and age composition. SSIF Funding of approximately $0.75M.
  10. Develop and apply standardised methodologies to monitor and assess international fisheries outside the New Zealand EEZ and determine the environmental effects of fishing. SSIF Funding of approximately $0.08M.
  11. Determine the impact of fisheries on the aquatic environment and contribute to broader ecosystem-based management approaches. SSIF Funding of approximately $0.7M.
  12. Develop approaches to enhance fisheries value and improve market access. SSIF Funding of approximately $0.18M.

Critical to the delivery of the science in this Platform are the RV Tangaroa, the technologies deployed from the vessel, NIWA’s High Performance Computing Facility, and a Nationally Significant Database and Collection—the NIWA Invertebrate Collection and its associated database Specify (which is supported through SSIF Infrastructure).