Search for Super Corals

GBR Legacy's first collaborative research expedition on the Great Barrier Reef, we set out to provide free access for leading scientists to study corals that may hold the secret to surviving in a warming ocean.

The Big Discoveries

  • The first new coral species discovered in 30 years!

  • The discovery of the first definitive ‘super coral’ species, Acropora tenuis, was found surviving at all reef sites regardless of the level of bleaching impact

Expedition Achievements

  • Super corals: Far northern corals are now considered to be the superstock of Great Barrier Reef coral species.
  1. The most diverse branching coral site ever found on the Great Barrier Reef was observed. This reef is a natural bio bank and Dr Charlie Veron has called for greater understanding and preservation of this site to allow its genetic store to be protected.
  2. Mapping: 30.8 km of reef was mapped, including 12 new reef sites, at a 2 cm resolution. 12 square km were mapped by the drone mapping team.
  3. Turtle tracking: 'Maree' the female green turtle was tagged. Maree's track shows she moved to Raine Island where she has nested again!
  4. The deepest dive achieved by an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) in the far northern Great Barrier Reef at 80+ metres, used to explore deep seafloor communities.
  5. New fish species observed on the Great Barrier Reef - presently only known from northwestern Australia!
  6. Water Samples: 385 stored water samples for seawater alkalinity and more taken to be studied for bacteria populations by Museums Victoria.
  7. The very first MangroveWatch survey at Wilkies Island.
  • Media: We delivered science direct from the reef to the public
    • 24 videos, 20 expedition logs, and 88 photos were created and sent from our vessel, the Flying Fish, to an international audience
    • Two Live ABC TV crosses, one live cross to Channel News Asia
    • 22 TV interviews, 32 radio interviews
    • 40+ national and international TV and online pieces about the expedition.
  1. A public symposium following the expedition where our preliminary results were delivered from each of the research teams involved. This was streamed live on Facebook.
  2. While this was happening, we also filmed a documentary for international distribution.

Watch an overview of the expedition here