Scientific Results of the New Zealand Government Trawling Expedition, 1907

Kevin Mackay, NIWA

Dataset credit



Primary contact Kevin Mackay NIWA N/A


SWPRON, 2018. Data from: Scientific results of the New Zealand Government Trawling Expedition, 1907. Waite, E.R. (ed.). Records of the Canterbury Museum, Vol. 2, No. 2.
Mackay, K. 2020. Scientific Results of the New Zealand Government Trawling Expedition, 1907. Data downloaded from OBIS-SEAMAP ( on yyyy-mm-dd and originated from OBIS (


In 1907 with the object of assisting and furthering the fishing industry the New Zealand Government organized and carried out an extensive series of experimental trawling investigations, the objects, as detailed in the official reports, being 'to ascertain what extent of trawling-grounds existed, what varieties of marketable fish were obtainable in the different localities; to prove whether the conditions necessary for carrying on successful trawling existed in certain localities within workable distance of the best markets, and, if so, to place the information on record for the guidance of those interested in the trawling industry; and generally to acquire information on the distribution of food-fishes, etc., in the sea surrounding these islands.'
The vessel used was the 'Nora Niven', built in Selby, and was constructed of
steel. She was 96 ft. long, the net register being 56 tons. In ordinary weather she could steam 8.5 knots an hour.
Though the expedition was fitted with several scientific appliances, such as sets of thermometers, sounding-apparatus, etc., all of which were regularly and systematically used, the provision for actual trawling was of the ordinary commercial type, designed only to arrest the larger or marketable fishes. No effort or arrangement was made to secure the smaller species or invertebrates, the presence or absence of
which may have an important bearing on the distribution of the
economic fishes. Occasionally, a smaller meshed cotton net was attached to sections of the trawl. When, however, this small net was used, the
increased number of species obtained was very marked.
The vessel left Wellington on the 5th June, 1907 for Stewart Island, and arrived in Auckland at the end of the expedition on August 26th 1907. Ninety-six hauls were made by the time Auckland was reached. The total weight of marketable fish brought to port by the trawler during the three-months cruise was 46,750 lb. 2,743 blue-cod (Parapercis colias) were taken at the Chatham Islands on hand-lines.



Supplemental information

This dataset was downloaded from OBIS ( The records for only marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles and rays and sharks were extracted. Records with no longitude/latitude or no date (eventDate) were excluded.
OBIS dataset page:
Data Provider's dataset page:


SWPRON, 2018. Data from: Scientific results of the New Zealand Government Trawling Expedition, 1907. Waite, E.R. (ed.). Records of the Canterbury Museum, Vol. 2, No. 2.



This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
All attributes are included in the downloadable file (CSV or ESRI File Geodatabase) for "Complete Set of Dataset".

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
oidInternal ID
idRecord ID
dataset_idDataset ID
scientificnameScientific name
vernacularnameVernacular name
aphiaidAphia ID
taxonranktaxononic rank
individualcountGroup size / individual count
eventdateEvent date (precision varies)
eventtimeEvent time
decimallatitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
decimallongitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
coordinateprecisionCoordinate precision
catalognumberCatalog number
collectioncodeCollection code
occurrencestatusOccurrence status
basisofrecordBasis of record (HumanObservation / MachineObservation)
modifiedDate/time the record was modified
node_idNode ID
occurrenceidOccurrence ID
occurrenceremarksOccurrence remarks
eventidEvent ID
institutioncodeInstitution code
lifestageLife stage
sexGender of the animal if known
speciesSpecies by provider
datasetidDataset ID by provider
localityLocation of ocean
waterbodyDetails of ocean
droppedFlag indicating the record was dropped (always false)
absenceFlag indicating the record represents the absence of the species (always false)
marineFlag indicating the record is for marine life (always true)
Marine mammals0
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks8
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin1907-06-12
Date, End1907-08-24
Temporal prec.111000
Latitude-46.87 - -37.55
Longitude168.80 - 177.78
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
Contr. throughiOBIS
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Also available in None
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