Marine biologists are about to start a search for new species in deep-sea waters off New Zealand.
A team from NIWA (National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research) leaves on a three week voyage on the RV Tangaroa on Saturday morning.
Samples will be taken from the sea-floor around the outer Bay of Plenty and the southern Kermadec ridge, 80km east of Tauranga.
NIWA says the research will show if sea life could be harmed by fishing and potential mining.
Lead scientist Malcolm Clark says deep seas around New Zealand have been poorly researched. The cameras they will use on the sea-floor are likely to find new species.
NIWA will report on the trip next year.