We all know that coral reefs are in trouble, but one particularly worrying thing with reef ecologists is the idea of shifting baselines. This very important idea basically means that coral reef researchers who began studying reefs in the last, ten or twenty years, think that the reefs they saw then is what a reef should look like.
If you really want to know what real reef ecosystems were like you have to go way back, forty, fifty years or more, back when SCUBA was first invented, and when humans and scientists got their first up close look at what reefs looked like. In an effort to educate researchers and coral reef enthusiasts as to what reefs were like, a handful of the world’s pioneering coral researchers have put together a free digital booklet called Reef Reminiscences.
Reef Reminiscences recounts the story and history of today’s most senior coral and reef researchers with fascinating accounts of how their nubile young selves ended up on far flung corners of the world to study corals and reef life. Notable greats who partake int eh reminiscing of the natural state of coral reefs including Charlie Veron, John Randall, and many others who have contributed greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the tropical marine environment over their careers.
The free digital booklet is part history, part story telling, and lots of great observations about the reefs of half a century ago, with the kind of uber interesting stories of reef discovery that reef aquarists would completely eat up. Reef Reminiscences is only about 30 pages long, but since it’s totally free you really owe it to yourself to download it and give it a read. [Reef Reminiscences]