Revealing the Coral Crisis

Chasing an underwater heatwave to reveal its impact on the world’s reefs

The Ocean Agency followed the Third Global Coral Bleaching Event from its start in late 2014, dispatching teams worldwide to visually record it. Using specially developed cameras, we documented the event with unique 360-degree imagery. The imagery produced, for the first time, has revealed the true scale of a global bleaching event to the world.

Our team was there when the bleaching began in Hawaii in October 2014, and we chased it the world as it devastated parts of the Great Barrier Reef, American Samoa, the Maldives, New Caledonia, Japan, and back again to the Great Barrier Reef for a second record-breaking year in a row.

In September 2015, we teamed up with NOAA and Google to announce and publicize the bleaching event. We watched as it became one of the biggest climate-change stories in the lead-up to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), reaching 2.4 billion people with a media value over $25 million. Our imagery has been used by virtually every major news outlet as coral-bleaching science has been publicized on an unprecedented scale.  

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