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The Great Barrier Reef is far from dead

Story & Photographs by Michael AW

Coral reefs are barometers for the well-being of our planet. They are at the frontline at the effect of rising ocean temperature. It is one of the first major ecosystems to suffer from the devastating effects of the climate crisis and an indicator of the health of not only our ocean but our planet.

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by Sheree Marris (with photographs by Steven Walsh)

Do you ever find yourself questioning the form, function and design of nature? I do, and it never ceases to amaze me, especially those found sliming, swimming and jetting around in our blue backyard. When it comes to Blue-ringed octopuses it is as though a crazy scientist was let loose to design a creature of their wildest dreams.

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Can coral spawning help save reefs?

Essay and photographs by Professor Peter Harrison - Director, Marine Ecology Research Centre, Southern Cross University

Coral reefs are the most extraordinarily beautiful and complex marine ecosystems on our blue planet, but they are increasingly threatened by human activities. Although these reefs occupy a very small area of the marine environment, they are home to an estimated million different species, and possibly one quarter of all marine species on Earth.  

The future of coral reefs will depend on the success of global action on climate change and managing other human impacts while we develop large-scale restoration to rescue threatened coral communities.

photo by Rick Stuart-Smith

Essay by Dr Jemina Stuart-Smith, Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania

I vividly recall uncovering my first Red Handfish from beneath a tangled mess of seaweed. I had been busy scouring the rocky reef searching for cryptic fishes and invertebrates as part of the Reef Life Survey (RLS) marine life monitoring program. We were surveying the only Red Handfish (Thymichthys politus) site known to exist at the time. It was a relatively shallow dive, with cold Tasmanian sea temperatures. I was nearing the end of my transect line, fast approaching my thermal tolerance threshold, which admittedly is not particularly high, and had begun to doubt I would see a handfish that day. Red Handfish are notoriously tough to find.

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An Awe-Inspiring Wonder - Lord Howe Island

Essay and photographs by Michael AW

I have dived the world. From the Antarctic to the Arctic, the Pacific to the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea. In the 30 years of arduous travel with over 100 kilograms of camera and diving equipment, I have explored almost every underwater realm on our planet with infinite gusto. But there was still one place in the back of my mind I had yet to explore.

Photo: Enric Sala

Submarine giant kelp forests thrive at the ends of the Earth

Essay by Cheryl Lyn Dybas

It’s a land beyond which there is nothing: the literal ends of the Earth. Or so it would seem. The forbidding headlands of Tierra del Fuego are a dare in the face of never-ending rainstorms, slashing waves and winds that howl up to 140 kilometres an hour. Ultimately, the bluffs lose, ceding ground each year to fierce surrounding seas. This archipelago shared by Chile and Argentina at the tip of South America is far from lifeless, however. Here where the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean meet those of the Atlantic and the Southern Oceans, untouched submarine forests thrive.

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By Sheree Marris (with photographs by Rob Peatling)  – Science, Art and Artificial Intelligence for conservation  

Dragons have captivated people’s imaginations for centuries. Featuring in movies, fantasy novels and folklore of many cultures around the world. Surprisingly there is some truth behind the ‘dragon tales’ although their form and function is less terrifying. They don’t have wings, breathe fire and one other minor detail… they’re found underwater.

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Are there plenty more fish in the sea?

Essay by Jamie Watts : Photographs by Michael AW

The Ocean is our key habitat.  Dominating the prime food webs in the oceans by the quadrillion, for hundreds of millions of years have been, and still are, the fishes.

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