Heron Island Picture Verify – ?

From Jennifer Marohasy’s Weblog

November 24, 2021 By jennifer

I’m looking for suggestions, together with remark and corrections, on this draft weblog publish. I’ve beforehand despatched an e mail to Richard Vevers (1 October 2021) and positioned a request for extra data on the Catlin Survey web site (20 April 2021), with out receiving any response from both. Irus Braverman was variety sufficient to answer to my e mail (30 September 2021) indicating that the {photograph} utilized in her e-book Coral Whisperers was offered to her by Richard Vevers. 

If all science is both ‘physics’ or ‘stamp amassing’ as as soon as steered by Ernest Rutherford, I might argue that it will be important that we not knowingly distribute fakes. 

Corals Wholesome, {Photograph} Bleached – Draft 

Does it matter if the Web is replete with faux images accompanying faux tales? Does it matter that these images preserve kids awake at night time – worrying about local weather change and the upcoming doom of our Nice Barrier Reef? 

There’s a {photograph} that has been promoted by Richard Vevers, the founder, and CEO of The Ocean Company, a Washington-based worldwide not-for-profit that’s purportedly devoted to marine conservation. It’s described on his The Ocean Company web site as having been taken at Heron Island in 2015. On Flickr, the identical {photograph} is described as having been taken in 2014, and in Irus Braverman’s e-book Coral Whisperers as having been taken in 2016. 

Screenshot from The Ocean Company Web site.  The crimson asterisk has been added by me, to attract consideration to the date as indicated at this web site.
Display shot from Flickr web site. Crimson underline added to attract consideration to the date.
{Photograph} from Irus Braverman’s e-book. Crimson underline added, to attract consideration to the date.

No less than two of those images have to be incorrectly labelled. 

It’s the status related to the XL Catlin Seaview Survey – touted as ‘the biggest survey of the Nice Barrier Reef ever undertaken’, ‘utilizing distinctive SVII underwater digicam techniques’ and which commenced again in 2012 – that has given the {photograph} credibility.

The XL Catlin Seaview Survey was undertaken by The College of Queensland in partnership with Google, the Worldwide Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the United Nation’s Schooling, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the USA’ Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and others. The expedition visited Heron Island on 4 November 2012. The images from this survey will be seen on-line, however this {photograph} is just not amongst them. 

In line with the survey’s web site, the XL Catlin returned to the Nice Barrier Reef in 2014 following cyclone Ita, and once more in 2016 following a mass coral bleaching. Nonetheless, not one of the 226,000 georeferenced coral reef survey photographs are publicly accessible from these expeditions.  

In line with a unique survey, which was an aerial survey undertaken in 2016 by Terry Hughes from James Prepare dinner College, it was principally the northern part of the Nice Barrier Reef that bleached in that yr; nonetheless, Heron Reef, which is a part of the southern Nice Barrier Reef, didn’t bleach in any respect at the moment.  

Actually, the {photograph} was virtually actually taken on 22 October 2014, and it’s not coral bleaching that’s being seen. I hypothesise that the corals seem bleached as a result of the {photograph} has been taken by layers of water that soak up mild within the crimson spectrum and/or as a result of a number of the color has been stripped from the {photograph} in post-production. Both method, it’s not match for objective; it can’t credibly be offered as proof of coral bleaching on the Nice Barrier Reef in 2016.

Vever’s organisation has the official endorsement of the United Nation’s Ocean Decade, and the {photograph} might have been promoted by him ostensibly to assist ocean science and conservation, and as proof of bleaching at Heron Island in 2016. However this doesn’t make the picture a real likeness. Actually, the {photograph} suits all the factors of being a faux. I imagine it doesn’t present coral bleaching and there was no mass coral bleaching at Heron Island in 2016, or in 2015 or 2014.

I visited Heron Island earlier this month (November 2021) with underwater photographers Stuart Eire and Leonard Lim. There we discovered the fringing reef to be wholesome, together with the fields of staghorn coral. We didn’t have the ‘distinctive SVII underwater digicam techniques’, nor the endorsement and sponsorship of a college, or Google, or the United Nations, however I did have the sense to put a color chart among the many corals to facilitate right white color steadiness in post-production.  

Jen Marohasy (foreground) and Leonard Lim (background) with a color chart above the fields of staghorn coral, Heron Reef, 9 November 2021.  Picture credit score Stuart Eire.
Jen Marohasy above the fields of staghorn corals, Heron Reef, 9 November 2021. Picture credit score Stuart Eire.

It’s evident from our images, with the color chart offering some high quality assurance, that the fields of staghorn corals at Heron Island will not be bleached – not this yr anyway. Perhaps subsequent? 

But the XL Catlin Survey and Richard Vevers, by way of the Flickr web site, proceed to perpetuate the parable that they’re bleached – most not too long ago within the pages of the celebrated Smithsonian journal.

Absolutely the youngsters of the world need to know the reality about Heron Reef’s corals. 

The Smithsonian Institute is the world’s largest museum, training and analysis complicated. But it surely appears they don’t have a lot of a course of for high quality management of the data of their journal.
Display shot. This {photograph} has been revealed and republished, together with by the Sydney Morning Herald in April 2021.


The function {photograph} on the very high of this publish was taken by Stuart Eire at Heron Reef on 11 November 2021.   There was a lot range and a lot magnificence.  The coral gardens had been the whole lot besides ostentatious, they had been refined and so alive.  What a privilege it was to dive that reef over three days.  A lot because of not solely Leonard and Stuart, but additionally Andrew, Adam and Diego.  There might be a documentary, that includes a couple of banana nudibranch.

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