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On Aus TV soon - BBC's Great Barrier Reef (and its well worth a watch)

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    Cross posting this from PIO as its well worth a watch when it airs.




    This was shown on BBC a few weeks ago and is excellent. Gives a stunning glimpse into the reef and its inhabitants. Well worth watching when it airs in Aus :)



    Cameras on the Great Barrier Reef



    RAINE Island, in the far northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, is shorter than the runway at Cairns International Airport, yet receives almost as many visitors each February.

    Every evening, a new herd of sea turtles wash onshore to lay their eggs. The number of green sea turtles nesting here is unrivalled in the world.Few people will ever visit this far north, but a BBC documentary that's set to screen on Channel 9 next month will share the experience with Australian viewers.The three-part series brings together some of the most experienced local skippers, academics from James Cook University and the biggest budget for an Australian documentary ever.The man behind the series is marine biologist and cameraman Richard Fitzpatrick, who has spent decades researching sharks and shooting documentary footage on the Reef.He's earned a reputation for being unconventional with the tiger sharks, having mastered new techniques to wrangle these wild creatures with a harness instead of hooks.When the BBC documentary goes to air, you'll witness the tiger sharks around Raine Island feeding on turtles that have succumbed to the elements. In one sequence, the jaws of a shark crush into the body of a turtle, and nearly take a chunk of camera with it.Dramatic moments like this take a long time to capture on film, but the time-lapse scenes can take longer.At James Cook University, Fitzpatrick has set up a series of marine tanks for filming hard-to-get shots. Twelve months of still frames reveal the emergence of a single coral polyp.This series also reveals for the first time the detailed process of coral bleaching, including time-lapse photography of coral expelling their symbiotic algae.

    "Bleaching is really an adapted response," Fitzpatrick says.

    "When stressed, coral wants the algae out and so actively purges the microscopic residents.

    "Bleaching occurs in discrete sections of reef, usually as a result of localised heat or salinity factors.

    "There are thousands of individual reefs along the coastline of northern Queensland, and bleaching events usually happen to just a few at a time.

    "When the marine environment returns to favourable conditions, hopefully within a week or two, the coral gets recolonised with algae."




    Link to news article on the series -


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