Coral Ghosts

An impassioned marine biologist uses his family’s extensive archive as the catalyst to save the world’s reefs.
Available on CBC Gem

Coral Ghosts

documentary Channel

Coral Ghosts is a story like no other, and the future of our world demands it be told. Dr. Tom Goreau has come from a long line of scientific photographers and marine life specialists, his grandfather taking the first-ever underwater photos. This heritage has left him with a massive inheritance of archival photos that have been sitting, hidden in boxes, in a house in Boston for decades. Goreau has inherited not only this extensive collection but also the family legacy of protecting the world’s coral reefs at a time when they have never faced greater threats. This enormous task has been placed on his shoulders his entire life, but time is running out for this scientist, and for our planet.

Goreau has assumed the crushing responsibility of bringing his family’s archive back to communities all around the world where they were originally taken, to show people what their coral reefs once looked like, so that we can see clearly just how much we have lost. Coral reefs will be the first ecosystems to die due to global warming, but they won’t be the last.

Told through intimate verite, never seen before archival film and photographs, and stunning underwater photography, this character-driven film brings viewers from a dusty attic in Cambridge to the shores of Jamaica, Australia, Bikini Atoll and Bali on a “mad” scientist’s journey to protect the coral that his father died documenting. Coral Ghosts is the wake-up call we all need, one man has devoted his entire life to what he knows is a global crisis, and now we need to listen.