Explore lost worlds of the deep NORFANZ Voyage

10 May to 8 June 2003
Final report to the Department of the Environment and Heritage (National Oceans Office)
June 2006


Extract from the Summary

The NORFANZ project aimed to provide a major increase in scientific knowledge of marine biodiversity in the region of the Norfolk Ridge and Lord Howe Rise. It has delivered, to a high standard, one of few regional-scale deep water benthic data sets for Southern Hemisphere waters. These data are primarily an extensive collection of benthic fishes and macro-invertebrate animals from a set of widely distributed sites located on seamounts and deep water ridges in the Tasman and southern Coral Sea between Australia and New Zealand. High resolution seabed maps, photographic images, and some environmental data characterise each sampling site.

The project successfully implemented a multi-disciplinary survey during 30 days at sea in 2003. The initial science progress was coordinated and communicated to the Founding Parties1 in a set of preliminary reports; the field data were upgraded, managed, collated, documented and distributed to all project participants; a sustained level of international scientific and public interest stemmed from the communication program; and an initial set of science results are reported here. All this has been achieved in under three years from the inception of the project.

1Founding Parties: Australia’s National Oceans Office – NOO; Australia’s CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research – CMAR; New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries – Mfish; and New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Sciences – NIWA

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