In case you are lucky sufficient to have the chance to dive in New Zealand, you're in for a deal with! New Zealand’s marine life varies from tropical, vibrant reef fish and critters via to sharks, dolphins, sea lions and even killer whales.
Orca (Killer Whale)
If diving with Orca is in your bucket listing, head over to the Poor Knights Marine Reserve the place pods of orca are common guests. Though orcas are generally known as ‘Killer Whales’, they're in truth innocent to people and they're the largest member of the dolphin family. With their distinctive black and white patterning and large dorsal fins, a pod of orcas powering by means of the waves is a very spectacular sight.
The Bronze whaler is also called the Copper Shark or its scientific identify: Carcharhinus brachyurus. Bronze whalers are a big species of requiem shark and may attain as much as three.three m (11 ft) lengthy. Bronze whalers may be troublesome to differentiate from different giant requiem shark however they're characterised by their slender, hook-shaped higher tooth, lack of a outstanding ridge between the dorsal fins, and their plain bronze coloration.
In the summertime months, bronze whalers reside at comparatively shallow depths over coral reefs – which results in common sightings. They don't pose a menace to people until provoked or mistaken, for instance, they've been recognized to snap at spear fishermen carrying lifeless fish. The bronze whaler is probably the most generally noticed shark species round New Zealand and it's thought to stay for as much as 30–40 years!
New Zealand Hooker Sea Lion
In case you are diving round Aramoana, Dunedin, you may simply catch a glimpse of the New Zealand Sea Lion, also called the ‘Hooker’ sea lion after Sir Joseph Hooker, a botanist with a British Antarctic expedition which arrived in Auckland in 1844.
Grownup males are extra closely constructed than females and are black or darkish brown, and mature bulls have a mane of tough hair round their shoulders. Females are silver-grey dorsally and creamy colored ventrally, though they seem pale brown when dry in the direction of the top of the yr. The pups are born with a thick coat of sunshine or chocolate brown fur and measure rather less than 1m (three.2 ft) at start. It's thought that males might reside so long as 23 years and females so long as 18 years.
The New Zealand Hooker Sea Lion is listed as endangered and there are lower than 10,000 people remaining. Fishing is their largest menace. They will develop into caught and drown in fishing nets, they usually need to compete for meals with business fishers. Fishing vessels drag giant trawl nets by way of the waters across the sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands at depths of round 200m (656 ft) to catch squid – on the similar depths sea lions swim and hunt for meals.
New Zealand Fur Seal
For divers round Kaikōura, South Island, the New Zealand Fur Seal is often on their bucket listing. The New Zealand Fur Seal spends a number of time on rocky shores, particularly throughout breeding season, once they return to the identical website annually.
New Zealand Fur Seals are wonderful hunters and divers. They dive for prey for as much as 2 minutes and a few have been recognized to succeed in as much as 400m (1,312 ft). When they don't seem to be searching, they will keep underwater for as much as 14 minutes.
These seals aren't endangered and their numbers in recent times have truly began to extend.
Black Coral at Milford Sound
Diving at Milford Sound is well-known for its uncommon marine eco-system. The highest 10 meters (32.eight ft) of water are literally recent water, coming from run off from the land. The run off is stained a tea-colour because of the tannins from crops and soil that it picks up alongside its means. This darker colored water blocks out the daylight from the decrease salty layers of water, leading to most of the marine species which are discovered within the shallows right here truly being species that usually can be discovered at a lot larger depths. And these species embrace black coral which is often present in deeper waters. There are round 7 million coral colonies in Milford Sound they usually have been constructing their underwater forests right here for round 200 million years – a sight undoubtedly value seeing!
Jason Mirabilis Nudibranch
The Jason Mirabilis nudibranch is discovered throughout New Zealand and it's extremely wanted by underwater photographers. It's typical of an aeolid nudibranch which have a spikey look. The Jason Mirabilis shows quite a lot of colors and may often be discovered amongst hydroids, on which it feeds.
Sperm whales are most incessantly noticed in New Zealand round Kaikōura the place males may be seen year-round and near shore. They congregate right here as a result of the 3km (1.eight miles) deep Kaikōura Canyon has a uncommon system of sea currents that maintain an extremely wealthy marine meals chain. Sperm Whales are on the prime of this meals chain and the abundance of fish ensures the males keep within the space whereas they bulk themselves up. The females and younger whales choose to remain out within the tropical waters.
Sperm whales are one of many deepest diving whales, they often dive a whole lot of meters to seek out their meals however have been recorded at depths of over three,000m (9,842 ft)! They're additionally champion breath holders usually averaging dives of between 40-60 minutes however have been recorded at ‘holding their breath’ for over 2 hours.
Spiny Sea Dragons
If macro marine life and critters are extra to your liking, then Milford Sounds, which is residence to the Spiny Sea Dragon, ought to be in your listing of locations to dive in New Zealand. Spiny sea dragons are recognisable by their lengthy spiny our bodies, lengthy snout, and their vibrant orange pores and skin with yellow and pink stripes. Spiny Sea dragons are discovered all yr spherical in Milford Sounds they usually make unimaginable macro underwater images topics!
It’s not simply sperm whales that benefit from the waters round Kaikōura, Dusky Dolphins are noticed right here too. Dusky dolphins have nearly no beak, and their dorsal fin is just not hooked and quite blunt. They're a bluish-black color on the again and tail and white on the underside of the physique.
Giant teams of a number of hundred to over 1,000 dusky dolphins are current in Kaikōura all yr spherical with people shifting north to feed at Admiralty in winter months. Dusky dolphins work together with quite a lot of different marine mammals together with widespread dolphins, long-finned pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins, New Zealand fur seals, sperm whales and orca – so they're in good firm in Kaikoura!
These are simply eight of our favorite species however, in fact, there are numerous different superb marine species that you'll encounter in all areas of New Zealand – we will’t probably listing all of them right here!
In case you are eager to be wowed by all that New Zealand has to supply underwater the easiest way to see it's with your personal eyes – so get able to dive in! Find a PADI dive shop in New Zealand and begin crossing off seeing these bucket record marine animals.