Experts with Money Ignorant of Corals – Part 4: John Brewer Reef Fact Check

I suspect Mike Emslie and crew from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) didn’t report on the colourful bleaching at John Brewer Reef on 6th March 2022 because they didn’t see any. They were tasked with reporting on bleaching during this routine underwater survey of John Brewer Reef, but they didn’t. It was there in plain view, but only to someone who understands and cares about corals.

The pink is from a protein, not from symbiotic algae. These pink corals had started to expel some of their symbiotic algae, at John Brewer Reef. The photograph was taken by me on 10th April 2022.

I suspect Neil Cantin and crew from AIMS reported that the corals were bleaching white at John Brewer Reef on 25th March 2022 because out an airplane window at 150 metres altitude it is possible to imagine anything. And after all, the purpose of the flyby was to highlight the importance of global action on climate change.

It was all over the news that Neil Cantin had flown in an aeroplane over hundreds of coral reefs and found them all bleached, yet when I put up a drone and film from just 120 metres (legal drone limit) I can’t see much. This photograph was taken of John Brewer Reef on 12th April 2022 from a drone.

I suspect Peter Ridd keeps reposting the AIMS charts on Facebook suggesting that coral cover is increasing because they are convenient. He knows AIMS misleadingly reports that coral cover at John Brewer is just 21.8% by surveying only the perimeter of this reef. Their methodology is absurd, and it avoids those habitats with most coral cover including the reef crest. Yet he persists.

An AIMS chart suggesting coral cover at John Brewer reef is just 22%. Their survey methodology breaks all the rules when it comes to field ecology and the need to first define distribution and abundance by habitat type.

The experts – Peter Ridd, Neil Cantin and Mike Emslie – have absolutely no idea. No idea about the colour of the corals, and no idea whether the extent of coral cover is increasing or decreasing. But they are the ones in charge and with the money.


The feature image at the top of this blog post shows me under the water at one of the coral reefs fringing Heron Island. The photograph was taken on 10th November 2021. I wasn’t talking to that fish.

via Jennifer Marohasy

August 3, 2022 at 06:14PM

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