The Tangaroa Research Institute – TriOceans is a collective of scientists and innovators. Our academic background centers on marine mammal science and marine education. We seek to conduct high quality research, inspire conservation through education, and weave Mātauranga Māori with modern science techniques.

Based in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Discover TriOceans’ mahi on our interactive map!


Answering scientific questions for conservation

After 10 years of marine research in Far North waters, the TriOceans team is experienced and fully kitted up with commercial vessel and latest gear and softwares to produce high quality scientific studies. By working with conservation management agencies and Hapū partners, we ensure our results are used to implement long-term conservation plans for the species who need it the most.

Key research outputs:

  1. “Photo-identification of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) utilising Bay of Islands waters”. DOC mandated research, Thibaud Guerin, 2017
  2. “Photogrammetry of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand”. DOC mandated research, Thibaud Guerin, 2018-2019
  3. “Identifiable individuals, behavioural responses to vessel activity and calf survival of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Far North waters”. DOC mandated research, Thibaud Guerin, 2019-2022


Sharing knowledge at all levels

From school visits to university-level internships, the TriOceans team is always excited to share their life’s work and latest findings. Our education program combines inspiring children and mentoring future researchers through their own scientific study. Don’t hesitate to contact us for an education event or take things further and come be a part of the team as a research intern!

Learn about our new Kaitiaki Training Course here!

Example internships:

  1. “Business management in conservation”. Amelie Guerin, Management School, 2017
  2. “Behaviour of New Zealand fur seal in Bay of Islands waters”. Thomas Sundermann ENVT veterinary school, 2018
  3. “Density of little blue penguins in Bay of Island waters” Chloe Remy, ENVT veterinary school, 2019
  4. “Usage patterns of bottlenose dolphins in Bay of Islands waters – new insights” Ainoa Boucher, ENVT veterinary school, 2019


New technologies for more accuracy and less disturbance

Always progressing, the TriOceans team investigates the use of latest hardware and software in marine biology. Ethical research, improved results, and engaging education material are our objectives!

Examples of technology used/in trial:

  1. Stereo-laser photogrammetry to measure free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (as per Van Auswegen et al., 2019)
  2. Use of ROV technology in reliable fish counts
  3. Fixed hydrophones for multi-species population monitoring in Far North waters
  4. The Marine Kaitiaki Course: a unique Northland based program to take your passion for Moana to the professional level!

weeks of intern mentorship


Tamariki and rangatahi interacted with in education events


pages of scientific reports produced


survey hours in Far North waters

Proudly sponsored by Highfield

Our research vessel: The RV KEKENO
Lightweight, fuel efficient and excellent rough weather handling. Add a large amount of deck space and clever storage and you have the perfect research platform!


All TriOceans images are taken at distance with zoom lens (400mm) under DOC permit or contracted research, following the Marine Mammal Protection Act (1978) and Marine Mammal Protection Regulations (1992).