Antratica New Zealand

New Zealand Government

Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML)

New Zealand is conducting a major survey of biological diversity of the Ross Sea as part of the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML) and International Polar Year (IPY). Scientists and crew took part in an eight-week voyage aboard RV Tangaroa in February–March 2008. They sampled the marine ecosystem from the sea surface to the seabed, from mega-size to microscopic, across a wide range of environmental and geographic gradients in the Ross Sea region. The survey covered habitats ranging from the ice-scoured shelf to offshore seamounts and the abyss. The voyage was part of CAML’s 2007–08 circumpolar census involving more than a dozen vessels from 23 nations – the largest Antarctic marine biodiversity survey ever. CAML aims to develop a robust benchmark of the distribution and abundance of marine biodiversity in Antarctic waters, against which future change in the marine environment can be assessed. The CAML project is New Zealand’s largest project for IPY. Post-voyage analysis of the data collected will take place over the next 3 years.

CAML contributes to the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CoML), a ten-year initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life in the oceans – past, present, and future.



Ministry of Fisheries

MinFish Contact

Dr Mary Livingston

Ministry of FisheriesLINZ

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IPY Project Number: 53

CAML Voyage reports

Ministry of Fisheries CAML website

A brief overview of the voyage has been published in Antarctic (NZAS) v.26(2) 2008

A 10-minute version of a film of the voyage can be viewed here.

CAML website
CoML website

Bringing icy science into the classroom

From early February 2008 the New Zealand Science Learning Hub website will feature New Zealand’s IPY research voyage to Antarctica and will bring weekly updated stories, from the scientists and crew on board the RV Tangaroa to the classrooms. The New Zealand Science Learning Hub will also feature science reports, photos, video and data from the ship and associated classroom activities as well as a question and answer section for teachers and their students to the scientists. For further information go to the Science Learning Hub.