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Stunning underwater panoramas expose destruction of world's coral reefs


Digital writers
theweathernetwork.com

Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 12:35 PM -

The decline of the world's coral reefs continues to accelerate, with a combination of climate change, over fishing and pollution as the main contributing factors, researchers say. 

The Catlin Seaview Survey, an effort launched in September 2012 as part of the Global Reef Record, is working to make this destruction easier for everyone to visualize.

"The Catlin Global Reef Record is a research tool aimed at collating and communicating the coral reef science of the Catlin Seaview Survey and combining that information with data from other leading sources of ocean research," the project says on their website. 

Using high-tech underwater cameras, the Global Reef Record is capturing and cataloging the world's reefs in 360-degree panoramas. A timer triggers the camera allowing it to take pictures at three-second intervals. 

The images are then analyzed and compared to photos taken at earlier dates and are freely available to anyone that visits the website. 

"The record is not just for scientists. It is for everyone, from policymakers to the general public," the project adds. "For the first time in history, ocean change will be made plainly visible for all to see." 

According to the Catlin Global Reef Record, coral reefs are deteriorating at the rate of one to two percent per year, making the study of these fragile and crucial ecosystems imperative.

"Without this information, understanding change and implementing management strategies for arresting the downward trend of coral reefs is extremely difficult," the website explains. 

The record will help the public at large to see and understand the issues of the reefs and the work that needs to be done to protect them.

Here's a look at some of the photos taken by the Catlin Seaview Survey. For more of these breathtaking images, head to their website.

(GALAPAGOS SEA LIONS, ECUADOR PANORAMA - 24/05/2013)

(GALAPAGOS SEA LIONS, ECUADOR PANORAMA - 24/05/2013)

(OSPREY REEF, AUSTRALIA PANORAMA - 14/12/2012)

(OSPREY REEF, AUSTRALIA PANORAMA - 14/12/2012)

(APO ISLAND, PHILIPPINES PANORAMA - 14/08/2012)

(APO ISLAND, PHILIPPINES PANORAMA - 14/08/2012)

(ST CRISPINS REEF, AUSTRALIA PANORAMA - 14/11/2012)

(ST CRISPINS REEF, AUSTRALIA PANORAMA - 14/11/2012)

(LADY ELLIOT ISLAND, AUSRALIA PANORAMA - 28/05/2012)

(LADY ELLIOT ISLAND, AUSRALIA PANORAMA - 28/05/2012)

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