Over the past 50 years, 80 per cent of the coral reef cover there has been lost to a perfect storm of pollution, overfishing, rising temperatures and ocean acidification. Researchers worry that others could soon be in a similar state.
More detailed, comparable information on how reefs are faring around the world is vital if we are going to be able to protect them.
One group attempting to do this is the Catlin Seaview Survey. They have already photographed the length of the Great Barrier Reef, and yesterday they announced they are now expanding their efforts into the Caribbean and Bermuda. The pictures and footage they take will be made publicly available and will provide a baseline snapshot that researchers can refer to when looking at how corals have responded to future climate change.