Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. Chasing Coral follows a team of divers, photographers, and scientists who set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.
After working for years in the advertising world in London, Richard Vevers was fed up. In a brash career move, he quit his job, moved to Australia, and became an underwater photographer. Richard sought the guidance of expert photographers and ocean scientists, hungry for knowledge that could illuminate the unfamiliar world under the waves. Richard was blown away by the magic of the reefs: silky sharks, weedy sea dragons, coral, and the countless sea creatures he learned to recognize and name. But the underwater world he had come to love was changing drastically. Between climate change, overfishing, and local pollution, he saw that the global oceans were dying. Meanwhile, Australian scientist Dr. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg worked tirelessly to disseminate his thirty years of research on coral reefs. Ove spent his entire life on the shores of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. As the country’s leading ocean expert, his work has been cited over 16,000 times in scientific literature. Despite being such a prolific and well-recognized author, Ove considered it a success if 1,000 people read one of his papers. When Richard and Ove cross paths, it set them both down a course that will forever change their lives. Ove can supply the irrefutable science, and Richard can design big campaigns to impact millions. Within a few months they invented a camera that could reveal the oceans unlike ever before. They partnered with Google, and pioneered Google’s Underwater Street View (maps.google.com/oceans). Within 18 months, Richard had created the most viewed underwater photography in history. Despite such huge, quick success, this wasn’t enough. Now, Richard is on the verge of crafting a new pitch, an underwater pitch, in order to reframe how we think about our relationship and dependance on the ocean. Richard speaks about the need for a powerful visual to communicate an idea. Richard’s big challenge for 2015 is to document massive coral bleaching that is expected to happen this year. A bleaching event represents visual evidence of coral decline, and is a direct result of rising ocean temperatures. If Richard can collect the images he needs, and develop his elevator pitch on how to rethink this issue, he hopes to inspire the public to make massive changes during this critical time. By making this information accessible to the public through stunning visuals, he hopes that he can have more impact in a shorter amount of time.