This photo essay was created by Professor Justin Marshall, Chief Investigator and Project Leader at CoralWatch. It provides a few graphic glimpses of how coral bleaching is affecting reef ecology.
Nemo is an Eastern Clown Anemonefish Amphiprion percula. This is his normal healthy habitat.
Nemo’s home has bleached severely.
An octopus camouflages itself as bleached coral.
Beautiful but wrong. Without its symbiotic algae, this coral’s underlying colour shines through
Even the massive ancient Porites corals are bleaching.
This is one of the reefs Justin Marshall dived with David Attenborough. They did not see a single healthy coral all day from 0- 25m.
More beautiful coral with almost total loss of symbiotic algae.
Where will fish shelter when their coral home dies?
Nemo’s cousins are in trouble too.
Is this healthy coral for me to hide in?
Fish can’t camouflage against white coral
Coral during the bleaching event
The Great Barrier Reef if bleaching continues (dead coral covered with algae)
Even though this is sobering testimony on climate change, the Great Barrier Reef is still a place of great beauty and natural wonder. Go there or revisit as soon as you can.
Losing ‘Nemo’: bleaching and collection appear to reduce inshore populations of anemonefishes Journal of Fish Biology by Dr Ali Jones