Marine biologist Johnny Gaskell has been exploring blue sinkholes in the Great Barrier Reef’s (GBR) least explored habitats since 2017. These formations serve as safe havens for coral gardens, preserving the ecosystems within. They also happen to reside within especially unique regions characterised by an extraordinary diversity of marine life and fast channels that appear to mix the deeper cold water with the warmer surface water, evading the impacts of coral bleaching seen in the rest of the GBR. Incredibly, these areas of high diversity, beauty and resilience that may soon become some of the most important habitats in Australia, reside within regions that our scientific community knows very little about compared with the rest of the GBR, due to their remoteness.
In this character-driven ‘investigative science on a grandiose adventure’ documentary, we follow Johnny and a team of marine biologists on three exciting expeditions into the most remote corners of the GBR, to uncover and survey these habitats and the animals within, and to better understand their importance during the current El Nino event, predicted to have a significant bleaching impact on the GBR. Whilst sharing their own perspectives along the way, the team meet a variety of ocean-centric people, including Quinn Passi and the community of Murray Island in the Torres Strait’s, who have extended Johnny and the team the rare invitation to explore the blue holes and high resilience habitats within Murray Island’s sea country.
To document such important discoveries with a remarkable seafaring culture that has been living in harmony with these habitats for thousands of years, allows the team to deliver an optimistic message of hope; that the GBR is not lost, as these resilience areas are in the right position to repopulate the coral gardens of surrounding regions on a large scale. Johnny and the team are on a mission to learn how humanity can help to aid this critical process of repopulation.