Whether you are a diving enthusiast, love to snorkel in the sea, or are simply fascinated by all things ocean, Coral Reef Adventure, directed by Greg MacGillivray, is a treat not to be missed. It is filmed in the South Pacific, in such familiar places as the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and the French Polynesian islands of Tahiti and Fiji. There are colorful coral formations, scads of fish schooling and darting about, animals that are shy and hiding, and others that are very curious. However, this documentary isn't just about eye-candy, it is also educational.
Coral, a living animal, depends on a certain type of algae to survive. The algae utilize photosynthesis to provide energy, or food, for the living coral. When the environment throws out a curve ball in the form of change in water temperature, hurricanes, alterations in the amount of available sunlight, or differences in the acidity of the surrounding water, bleaching can occur. And bleaching, if prolonged can be fatal!
Another destination in the film is Rangiroa, an atoll. For those of us who have forgotten, an atoll is a ring of raised coral that totally or partially surrounds a lagoon. Now imagine what the prolonged destruction of the living coral of the atoll would mean to those living upon it? Not only would there be environmental loss, the fish they depend on for food would be gone too. What took hundreds to thousands of years to build could be wiped out in, what could be considered, the blink of an eye.
But do corals only live in the warm, shallow waters of the tropics? New technology now allows scientists to peek into depths not available to normal scuba divers. The ocean, with the myriad of life it supports, is full of surprises. Filmmakers Howard and Michele Hall take their cameras down to what is known as the Twilight Zone, where sunlight is scarce to nonexistent. What will we discover? What impact will it have upon our world? And you can be sure that, as even more technology becomes available, what is considered "the final frontier" on earth will ultimately be examined.