What inspired you to start The Ocean Agency?
As we move into the future, the challenges facing the ocean only increase in numbers and severity -- and many challenges has always been very much out of sight and out mind. Awareness of the issues and fundamental role of the ocean is so low, ocean conservation is one of the least supported areas of conservation. The Ocean Agency wanted to change that. We use the powerful combination of new technology, media, partnerships, and above all, creativity, to work at a meaningful speed and scale.
What is the mission of The Ocean Agency?
The Ocean Agency's mission is to be a catalyst for the global action necessary to tackle the ocean's greatest issues.
Why is the 50 Reefs project so significant?
There are many existing coral reef conservation projects in place, but there’s not one conservation project that takes a truly global perspective to tackling the significant and growing coral reef crisis. The 50 Reefs initiative aims to build on these existing coral reef conservation efforts by rapidly catalyzing new targeted action and investment in priority reef areas currently underfunded.
What are the first milestones for the 50 Reefs project?
Fundamental to the 50 Reefs project is the identification of the coral reefs that are least vulnerable to climate change that have the greatest capacity to repopulate other reefs over time. The 50 Reef extended science team are working intensively at
present to determine this list of priority reefs, on track for announcement later this year. And from there, we intend to put a plan in place to protect as many of these locations as possible via incremental funding and action.
What do you believe is the future of the world’s reefs?
Science is predicting that the coral reefs of the world will face unprecedented challenges in our lifetimes. As much as 90% of corals could die if we meet the Paris agreement target, and if we don’t, the situation is predicted to be far far worse. People are talking about eco-system extinction. Some may say that’s a battle too hard to win… but for us at The Ocean Agency, and for the partners and co-funders supporting our new initiative 50 Reefs, this is not disheartening, but we must act fast. Our hope is that we can save enough reefs to ensure the reefs of the future have a chance to flourish once more once our ocean conditions are stabilised.
What are the five most endangered coral?
This is probably the best summary… Elkorn is one of the most powerful stories. It went from one of the most common species in the Caribbean to one of the most Endangered.
As their color leaves them during the bleaching process, is there a particular fluorescent color for individual coral?
I’m afraid the science doesn’t seem to be too clear on this.
The most impressive color I have seen was corals fluorescing in Yves Kline Blue color (stag horn corals)
When soft corals decompose, does the color permeate other areas underwater, rocks or the shoreline?
It doesn’t. It just tends to fade away before the coral dies.
I would like to use, as reference, accurate images of bleached coral and the fluorescent color they emit. Is it possible to use images from your website?
No problem at all… www.globalcoralbleaching.org As an extra bit of creative inspiration… I thought I’d describe the fluorescing… The flesh of the coral turns clear when the water warms too much and there is too much direct sunlight. The skeleton inside that is revealed though the clear flesh, traps the light and appears to glow. This is even more obvious when there is the sunscreen chemical coloration… the corals appear to glow in their incredibly vivid colors.