Losing nemo – coral bleaching footage seen around the world

A University of Queensland researcher’s striking images of clownfish trying to hide in anemones bleached a ghostly white have been published throughout the world.

UQ’s Professor Justin Marshall said the little fish that shot to fame thanks to the movie Finding Nemo was having a tough time due to Great Barrier Reef bleaching.

Professor Marshall, who leads the CoralWatch citizen science project, is on a field trip to Lizard Island, where one of his students, Wen-Sung Chung, took this photograph of two clownfish standing out against their bleached anemone home.

The image has been picked up by social and mainstream media including The Guardian and The Huffington Post.

“We have added the clownfish and anemone to the long list of sea life potentially dying because of this bleaching event,” Professor Marshall said.

“The corals around Lizard Island are deeply bleached. I have not yet seen a healthy coral. I’m absolutely shocked.

“This is an unfolding disaster made worse by global warming caused by burning fossil fuels.

“When my son at age four asked me ‘Daddy is the Reef dying?’ I cried. I can tell you right now I am crying again.”

Professor Marshall worked with Sir David Attenborough on a BBC Great Barrier Reef series filmed late last year and yet to air in Australia.

“I am very unhappy about the prospect of contacting Sir David Attenborough to say that many of the reefs he saw when we went round together are in very poor health. Some will most certainly be largely dead within a few weeks,” Professor Marshall said.

Losing Nemo

Watch Professor Marshall’s footage of coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef here.

Last updated:
23 March 2016