The reef in question – The Rowley Shoals, are an isolated archipelago about 260km off Australia’s north west coast.
What was found was incredible. Between its protection from fishing, its location and the shape of the reef it has sustained species long lost elsewhere.
Species of giant fish like humphead Maori wrasse and humphead Parrotfish (both growing to over 1.5m were a regular sight, despite the fact that globally they are threatened with extinction. Of particular excitement, across the long study, there was no discernible change in the quantity of these fish – even as they were seen less and less regularly elsewhere.
Efforts must be made to maintain reefs like this, in their unblemished state. These reefs are far more capable of dealing with environmental changes, and hopefully one day there will be a need to reseed reefs in more accessible parts of the world.