Colours of the Coral Sea

Surveys by Reef Life Survey divers reveal Coral Sea reef communities to be unique in Australia. Many of the dominant Coral Sea fish and invertebrates, while different from those usually seen on the Great Barrier Reef, are common around Pacific islands more than 1500 km distant, such as Tonga and Samoa. This may be due to the extreme isolation of Coral Sea reefs compared with other Australian reef systems, and /or their greater distance from land-based sediments and nutrients.

These photographs were taken by divers participating in Reef Life Survey, a citizen science initiative in which trained volunteer SCUBA divers collect scientific data on the biodiversity of shallow reefs worldwide.

Photographers: Graham Edgar, Andrew Green, Ian Shaw, Rick Stuart-Smith, Ken Trebilco

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