Fisheries Oceanography project (FISHERIES_NZ)

Summary of the project

New Zealand has high international standing in the field of fisheries management and is perceived as being amongst the world leaders in sustainable utilisation of living marine resources. However, New Zealand is behind internationally in terms of understanding interactions between commercially-exploited fish and the rest of the marine ecosystem. A first step is to develop a quantitative picture of the current state of the marine food web of the Chatham Rise. Attempts to develop such a trophic model have identified the importance of, and paucity of information on, middle trophic level groups, including mesozooplankton, macrozooplankton, gelatinous zooplankton, squid, mesopelagic fish, small epipelagic fish species, juvenile/pre-fishery sized fish, and benthic invertebrates.

Overarching Questions to be addressed

  • What is the composition, abundance and spatial distribution of marine organisms on the Chatham Rise? Focus will primarily be on lower and middle trophic level species: mesozooplankton, acrozooplankton, gelatinous zooplankton (salps, jellyfish), mesopelagic fish, squid, larval and juvenile fish, meiobenthos, macrobenthos, megabenthos.
  • What are the key trophic linkages leading to commercial fish stocks on the Chatham Rise?

Area of study

Chatham Rise region off the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand

TimeTable for activities

Research Voyage conducted May/June 2008, data analysis and write up completed by July 2011.