In the “Protecting our seas DVD

Clip duration: 2 minutes 2 seconds

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What you’ll see

A ship approaches the rugged offshore Kermadec Islands. We then move below the surface where we first encounter a turtle, followed by a range of other sub-tropical species including a spotted black grouper being watched by a SCUBA diver. Both corals and seaweeds are seen here as are a range of sub-tropical and temperate species, including some endemic to this area.

Giant Kermadec limpets graze over rocks, a crown-of-thorns starfish waves its tube-feet and a Galapogas shark creates a dominating silhouette. Divers swim in mid-water and explore their surroundings. A scientist is then seen collecting species for identification which occurs back on board a boat and is described in a short interview with Andrew Stewart from Te Papa.

The clip finishes with the on-screen message “In New Zealand alone seven new species are discovered every fortnight” and a large spotted black grouper swimming towards the viewer.

What you’ll learn

The Kermadec Islands are located 800 km north-east of Auckland. Their isolation and protected status has left the islands waters in a relatively pristine state. Remote locations such as the Kermadecs highlight how little we know about our marine environment. A recent research trip to these islands discovered several new species, including the featured pipefish. On average seven new species are identified every fortnight in New Zealand.

The subtropical waters of the Kermadecs contain a fascinating mix of temperate and tropical species which attract divers and scientists from all over the world. Tropical species such as corals and lionfish can be found side-by-side with temperate seaweeds and fish such as, blue Maomao. There are also a number of species living here that are found nowhere else in the world.

The Kermadec giant limpet (Patella kermadecensis) is a noteworthy species here. Measuring up to 16 cm wide it is the world’s largest and most ancient limpet with fossil records dating back 2 million years. Other featured species include sea turtles, spotted black grouper, crown of thorns starfish, Galapagos sharks, demoiselles, drummer, packhorse lobster and sea hares.

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