Marine scientific research

Each year New Zealand receives applications from people from other countries seeking to undertake marine scientific research (MSR) in the New Zealand Territorial Sea, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Continental Shelf.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on behalf of the New Zealand Government receives and manages MSR applications from New Zealanders seeking to undertake MSR in waters under the national jurisdiction of other States, and people from other countries seeking to undertake MSR in New Zealand’s Territorial Sea, EEZ and Continental Shelf. 

Information about applying for consent to carry out MSR in New Zealand’s waters can be found on the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade website(link is external).

Consents granted to applicants to undertake MSR usually contain conditions including, but not limited to, a requirement to provide New Zealand with data, samples and reports about their research.

The role of LINZ is to ensure that researchers comply with their obligations to provide voyage and scientific reports, data and samples to New Zealand.  LINZ’s MSR Coordinator acts as the point of contact for all MSR-related data and report enquiries and can be reached at

For information about New Zealand’s requirements for MSR-related data, samples and reports see Information for Researchers.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) manages and regulates applications to undertake MSR in New Zealand’s EEZ and Continental Shelf from:

  • All New Zealanders
  • People from other countries who do not meet the exclusion under section 9(1)(e) of the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects ) Act 2012.

New Zealanders and people who do not meet the exclusion under section 9(1)(e) must comply with the requirements of the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects- Permitted Activities) Regulation 2013.

The EPA publishes information about current and completed MSR activities on their website. You can view the current and completed activities in the links below (see Related Extenal Content).

Information for researchers

Marine science researchers are required to submit to the New Zealand Government the following information relating to New Zealand’s marine jurisdiction:

  • A preliminary voyage report
  • Copies of all data collected
  • Copies of scientific reports
  • Geological and biological samples

LINZ’s MSR Coordinator will liaise with marine science researchers to facilitate the timely receipt of all reports, data and samples. The MSR Coordinator can be contacted at

The preliminary report, to be submitted to within the timeframe stated in the application for consent, details when and how the preliminary and final results of the marine research will be made available.

Copies of all data collected and reports prepared based on data collected in areas under New Zealand's jurisdiction, or details of where such data and reports can be obtained, are to be submitted to as soon as possible, and in any case within a 12 month period, after the conclusion of the voyage.  This information will be treated as public information and may be made available via the internet unless another arrangement is reached with the New Zealand Government.

Geological and biological samples which may be divided without detriment to their scientific values are to be deposited at a New Zealand institution as soon as possible after the conclusion of the voyage. The MSR Coordinator can assist with delivery of such samples.  For any other samples collected, details of where such samples have been deposited are to be forwarded to the MSR Coordinator.

Voyage information

Download the spreadsheet for details about recent and upcoming science research voyages. The spreadsheet contains voyage dates, the purpose and type(s) of reports available from the MSR Coordinator.