Two-thirds of Earth’s surface is covered by ocean. The 2/3 Virtual Reality Project celebrates and promotes this silent majority of the planet that remains vulnerable to human activity, the part that contains 80 percent of all life.
Just 1.5 per cent of the world’s reefs are in an undisturbed state, say scientists, and one-third are in New Caledonia, a French territory vulnerable to illegal fishing and unable to agree on a management plan for its marine park—the second largest in the world. Last month, a film crew traveled to one of the most remote reefs on the planet and discovered why conservation can't keep up with ecosystem change.
Blake Ambassador Lucy van Oosterom, with our partners New Zealand Geographic and Two Thirds, is a finalist in the Thinkable Emerging Research prize for early career researchers for the 360 documentary "The mystery of the talking fish".
It is an international celebration of science communication that is part of the Royal Society’s 150 Years of Discovery. Head to the link below to watch the 360 documentary and vote for Lucy!
#nzgeoVR #theothertwothirds #360VR
The proposed Kermadecs Ocean Sanctuary would stretch over 620,000 square kilometres. Beneath the surface, you will find deep trenches and underwater volcanoes as well as life not found anywhere else in the world. But the sanctuary has yet to be created. The time for talking is done – the government needs to follow through on its 2015 promise to create the Kermadec Rangitähua Ocean Sanctuary.
Most of us start and end life as either male or female, but it can get a little more complicated when it comes to fish. Two stripe damselfish are found throughout the eastern Indian and western Pacific Oceans, often associated with the corals pictured here.
Males and females look exactly the same and can be similar in size, though larger males are often dominant members of populations. Despite this, it seems the ladies have the upper hand when it comes to sex. Amazingly, if a female isn't getting enough attention and her chances of reproducing are looking drab, she can switch and become a male, likely in an attempt to become a dominant male. This is quite common in fish, especially in species where large males dictate or control breeding—the girls are doing it for themselves :) ... See MoreSee Less
The slimy, wriggly, brown earthworms we have on land are giving polychaetes a bad reputation. Rather than making people squirm with disgust, the polychaetes we find in the sea are often described as bright, brilliant and beautiful.
Christmas tree worms, a type of fanworm, delicately decorate reefs as they nestle in to groves in coral and build a limestone tube to live in. From this cozy refuge they can extend their fine, feathery fans to capture food and oxygen from the water, retracting them again when danger approaches. On coral reefs, Christmas lasts all year. ... See MoreSee Less
Being so far from any population centre, Astrolabe Reef suffers less from human activity and fishing pressure. There is a healthy population of top predators out here, including heaps of sharks. There seems to be one around every corner, aware of our presence, investigating if we’re friend, foe, or food. ... See MoreSee Less
We’re having dinner in front of the TV tonight, and it’s a live show! Working late and loving it as we try for some fish action after dark. Our poor 360 camera “Jacques", the things we’ve put him through this week… and tonight he’s contending with sharks in the dark! ... See MoreSee Less
Into the fish bowl! Today we felt like we were swimming in a huge fishbowl, with hundreds of fish all roaming the reef together. We were lucky enough to spend a few hours snorkelling in between shoots, having a closer look at the amazing critters we’re sharing this planet with. ... See MoreSee Less
Back home, you might bring a bottle of wine when you visit friends, but in New Caledonia, it’s a gift of fabric that is exchanged. Some islands fall under the care and oversight of the local Kanak people of the area, and Iles du Beautemps Beaupre and Astrolabe are cared for by the people of St Josephs on Ouvea. We met with Victor Ankaionliwa, to ask his blessing to visit the islands, presenting him with a Māori flag of self determination; tinorangatiratanga.
“It warms my heart,” he said. “You respect this place, and you respect our culture.” We were all moved by the exchange, and the bear hug he dealt each of us afterwards! Victor says he will be raising the flag on a pole in his backyard, so when we return we know where to find him. ... See MoreSee Less