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Surface chlorophyll-a concentrations were measured in the Ross Sea and in the Antarctica-New Zealand transect by the lidar fluorosensor aboard the research vessel Italica during the 13th Italian Antarctic Oceanographic Campaign (December 1997-January 1998). The lidar measurements were compared to the data collected by the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS). The study area contained four distinct regions: coastal waters located east of Terra Nova Bay (chlorophyll-a 0.2-9 mg m−3), offshore waters of the Ross Sea (chlorophyll-a 0.03-7 mg m−3), offshore waters of the Ross Sea-New Zealand transect (chlorophyll-a 0.1-2 mg m−3) and coastal waters located south of New Zealand (chlorophyll-a 0.2-9 mg m−3). In coastal waters, lidar values were significantly higher than those of SeaWiFS. In offshore waters the discrepancy was lower and the experimental points were enough to calibrate the SeaWiFS chlorophyll-a algorithm against the lidar fluorosensor measurements in the Ross Sea.