Marine scientific research, prospecting and exploration

Operators undertaking marine scientific research, prospecting and exploration activities in the EEZ must keep the EPA informed of their activity.

This page has information about ongoing activities, or activities about to commence.

For more information about how this activity is regulated, see the section on undertaking a marine scientific research, prospecting and exploration.

NIWA Plus

Kaikoura earthquake turbidites 

We have received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environmental Assessment from NIWA to conduct marine scientific research on the Hikurangi margin. NIWA will use a multicorer to collect samples to quantify the sedimentary response on the seabed to strong shaking from the 14 November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. This research is wholly government funded.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf 747 KB)

 

Mernoo Bank scampi survey

We have received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environmental Assessment from NIWA to conduct marine scientific research on the Chatham Rise. NIWA will use a range of techniques to grab and tag live scampi to investigate growth. This research is wholly government funded.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf 591 KB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf 829KB)

 Commenced: 18 September 2019

Completed: 25 September 2019

 

Autonomous echosounder mooring on Campbell Plateau 

We have received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environmental Assessment from NIWA to conduct marine scientific research on the Campbell Plateau. NIWA will deploy an autonomous echosounder to collect acoustic data on mid-trophic level organisms. This research is wholly government funded.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf 762 KB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf 893KB)

Commenced: 3 September 2019

Completed: 3 September 2019

 

Chatham Rise

We have received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environmental Assessment from NIWA to conduct marine scientific research on the Chatham Rise. NIWA will use a range of techniques to determine how sea-floor communities will respond to disturbances from human activities in the deep sea. This activity has a duration of two years, in 2020 moorings will be removed and a small survey will be undertaken. This research is wholly government funded.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf 2.6 MB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf 2.8 MB)

Commenced: 11 June 2019

 

 

GNS Science Plus

Glider Deployment

We received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environment Assessment from GNS to conduct marine scientific research in various locations off the east of the North Island.

GNS Science use an unmanned underwater vehicle known as a glider to periodically survey instruments on the seafloor to measure horizontal movement of the tectonic plates. This research forms part of a larger six year project to assist in determining the likelihood and effects of future subduction zone earthquakes from the Hikurangi subduction zone.

We issued a waiver of procedural requirement for this activity.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf 767KB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf 565KB)

Commenced: 24 January 2019

Hikurangi ocean bottom investigation of tremor and slow slip  II (HOBITSS II)

We have received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environment Assessment from GNS under Regulation 11(a) of the EEZ (Environmental Effects–Permitted Activities) Regulations to deploy a variety of moored scientific instruments along the East Coast of the North Island. These instruments will passively monitor tectonic processes for up to 6 years, with retrievals and redeployments tentatively scheduled annually. The activity was scheduled to commence on 19 June 2015 and is scheduled to be completed by June 2021.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf 351KB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf 531KB)

Commenced: 22 July 2015

 

Sea Education Association Plus

Water column sampling

We received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environmental Assessment from Sea Education Association (SEA) to conduct marine scientific research North-East of New Zealand. They intend to sample the upper water column for chemical analysis as well as collected phytoplankton and zooplankton.  Some above water and instrument driven observations are planned, as well with hourly visual surveys, and aerial drone surveys.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf 251KB)

Read the initial environmental assessment (pdf 952KB)

 

 
Texas A&M University Plus

South East New Zealand, Paleogene Climate study

We have received a Pre-Activity Notification and Initial Environment Assessment from Texas A&M University to conduct marine scientific research in the EEZ, south east of New Zealand. They will take sediment cores using a variety of methods, and analyse these to gain insights into past climates. The activity is set to commence on 3 January 2020, and will run for 17 days within the EEZ.

Read the pre-activity notice (pdf 13MB)

Read the intial environmental assessment (pdf 1.4MB)