Bay of Islands Coastal Survey Project
As a marine environment, the Bay of Island coast is under increasing pressure from competing interests, including aquaculture, fisheries, tourism and recreation. Land-based human activities are also having an impact.
The Bay of Islands survey, carried out between 2008 and 2010 was the first OS 20/20 survey of a New Zealand coastal area and the largest ever undertaken in our coastal waters to date.
An environment under pressure
As a marine environment, the Bay of Islands coast is under increasing pressure from competing interests, including aquaculture, fisheries, tourism and recreation. Land-based human activities are also having an impact. The project involved collecting data about Bay of Islands seabed habitats and biodiversity to provide quality baseline data for the future, and a snapshot of the current state of biodiversity. This information can then be used by government agencies, the regional and district councils and local groups to develop and manage the Bay of Islands coastal resources in a more effective and sustainable way.
The survey area is divided into two zones:
- the area within the Bay of Islands from mean high water springs to a line from Cape Brett, including Motukokako Island, across the Bay to Cape Wiwiki
- the area outside this, extending south to Mimiwhangata and north to North Cape / Spirits Bay, down to a 200 metre water depth. Zone one is the main area of focus, while zone two will be less intensively surveyed.
Zone 1: Bathymetric map of Bay of Islands survey area showing seabed gradient from shallow inshore areas to water up to 50 metres deep. Greyed areas are very shallow areas surveyed using side-scan sonar. Source: NIWA
NIWA Vessel Management Ltd is a subsidiary company of NIWA, and is the owner and operator of the fleet of NIWA research vessels. NIWA's research vessels are used for oceanographic, fisheries and coastal research as well as for marine engineering and environmental studies. NIWA Vessel Management Ltd is a limited liability company and operates independently from its parent company. The vessel company carries out most of the maintenance on the NIWA vessels using its mechanical and electrical workshops at Greta Point, Wellington. NIWA Vessel Management employs some 40 staff and has an annual turnover in excess of NZ$8m.
Capable of working throughout New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in conditions ranging from subtropical to subantarctic, Research Vessel Tangaroa is well equipped for a wide range of stock assessment work.
Designed primarily for coastal surveys, 28-metre Kaharoa is capable of working throughout the EEZ and further afield. Kaharoa can trawl to a depth of 600 m and has surveyed most inshore fish species around New Zealand.
Pelorus is a purpose-built hydrographic survey launch, which has been fitted out and capable of operating in cold climates such as the Antarctic.
This data is presented in the form of an interactive map. You can select layers and click on objects for further information and links.