New Zealand scientists are embarking on a research mission to investigate a major underwater mountain range in the South Pacific.
NIWA's flagship vessel Tangaroa is leaving Wellington today for a five week voyage along the Louisville Seamount Chain, around 1000 kilometres northeast of New Zealand.
Marine ecologist, Ashley Rowden, says there's concern fragile ecosystems in the area could be affected by trawling for orange roughy.
"Fishing industry have found orange roughy and therefore they have a particular interest in it."It's significant from an economic point of view but it's also significant from a natural point of view, in that we expect there to be lots of these vulnerable ecosystems there."