Scientists are confident they will be able to name more than 4000 as yet undescribed marine species living in New Zealand waters.
The species are showing up in imaging technology in a census of marine life - but are yet to be catalogued.
Date from the decade-long global study is used predict there may be a further 17,000 species still to be discovered around New Zealand.
Dr Alison MacDiarmid says having a roll call of all marine species is essential for future management and protection.
She says scientists think many of the unnamed and undiscovered species will be unique to New Zealand and are likely to be a diverse mix of marine creatures.