Episode available within Canada only.

Over the past 30 years, roughly half of the planet’s coral has been lost. These vital underwater ecosystems are being damaged by pollution and overfishing. But rising water temperatures due to climate change are having the most catastrophic effect of all. Coral bleaching is a global epidemic that reduces vibrant and thriving reefs to rubble. At the current rate of loss, scientists predict that we will lose nearly all of the world’s coral in another 30 years.

Saving the world's coral reefs by speeding up evolution
Scientists are creating the first map of the world's coral reefs

There are some glimmers of hope in the form of  “super corals” that exist in small numbers, in some of the most unusual places. These coral species can withstand warmer water temperatures, and have been found in places like the Red Sea and off the urban shorelines of Miami.

Three scientists are on the forefront of researching the amazing properties of these corals: Ruth Gates from the U.S., Madeleine Van Oppen in Australia and Julia Baum from Canada — they are the “superwomen of super coral.”

Some corals are making new friends to survive warmer seas
Giving coral a hot water bath may protect them from future climate change

Reef Rescue follows these intrepid women as they race to harness the mysterious power of corals that seem to resist everything humanity has thrown at them. Using cutting-edge genetics, epigenetics and artificial reproduction to “assist evolution,” they are trying to recreate the properties of super corals, to rescue and rebuild dead and dying reefs all over the world.

Their work is already showing promising results and brand new breakthroughs offer hope that our ocean’s dying coral reefs can be rescued and protected in a warming world.

Watch Reef Rescue on The Nature of Things.

Credits (Click to expand)

Directed by
Su Rynard

Produced by
Merit Jensen Carr
Sally Blake
Aaron Floresco

Executive Producers
Merit Jensen Carr
Sally Blake
Rocky Collins
Ruth Johnston
Paul G. Allen

Written by
Su Rynard
Sally Blake

Edited by
David McGunigal

Original Music Composed by
Stéphane Lopez

Director of Photography
Léo Monnet

Senior Executive
Alexa Rosentreter

Production Managers
Sandra Moore
Rébecca Hagège

2nd Unit Directors
Sally Blake
Aaron Floresco

Underwater Photography
Léo Monnet

Luis Cardenas
Mike Gandouin
Lior Cohen
Ben Agar

2nd Camera Operator
Aaron Floresco

Specialty Photography
Aaron Floresco
Brett Lewis
Léo Monnet
Rivah Winter

Sound Recordist
Jason Milligan

Additional Sound Recording
Jason Hopfner
Don Grunsten

Camera Assistants
Adrian Bernard
Pierre Thisse

Production Coordinators
Carole Rouet
Raphaëlle Petiot
Dodie Graham McKay

Production secretary
Philippine Orefice

Location Facilitators
Charlotte Paques
Adrien Rappoport

Set Manager
Sylvain Menagé

Production Assistants
Gordon Agar
Kerri Woloszyn
Hayley Butterfield

Film Crew for David Suzuki Introduction
Simon Schneider
Victor Prokopowicz
Mark Berry

Post Production Supervisor
Peter Nielsen

Additional Editing
Karsten Wall

Graphics & Animation
Stéphane Crouzet

Online Editor
Jack Lauder

Sound Design
Phil Strong

Dialogue Editor
Paul Morrow

Re-Recording Engineer
Howard Rissin

Assistant Editor / Conform Editor
Matt Onischuk

Lucien Alfonso
Lina Belaïd
Matthias Brousselle
Rémi Foucard

Voice Over
Emma O'Neill
Tim Latham
Cécile Arnaud
Caroline Klaus
Patrick Kuban
Julie Léger

Packaging Editor
Andrew Shire

Aaron Floresco

Visual Researchers
Gina Cali
Bertrand Rabbé

Production Accountants
Jolyn Hoogstraten
Stéphanie Leclerc-Fournier

Legal Affairs
Paul Popeski
Tiphaine Pavageau

Dylan Carr

Patricia Garry

Based on an original idea by
Aaron Floresco

Special Thanks

Caroline Underwood
F.M. Morrison
The Teem Family, and community of Kiritimati, Kiribati
Claire Lager, Smithsonian Institution.
The Allen Coral Atlas Project
Marie Roman
Dr. Line Bay
Craig Humphrey
Dr. Mark Eakin, NOAA Coral Reef Watch Program
Arnaud Pidon
Amber Sessions
Vancouver Aquarium
Ocean Wise Conservation Association

Scientists, staff, and students of the;
Arizona State University, Center for Global Discovery and Observation
Confocal Microscope Facility, HIMB, University of Hawaii
RSMAS, University of Miami
CRIOBE, Mo’orea, French Polynesia
AIMS, Townsville, Australia
RV Cape Ferguson

Stock and archival material courtesy of

American Museum of Natural History
Australian Institute of Marine Science
Brett Lewis / Queensland University of Technology
Bartosz Sykus
Elyse Butler
Exposure Labs / Chasing Coral
Getty Images / BBC Natural History / ITV / Spotmatik
IPCC Secretariat
Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology / The Gates Lab / University of Hawai’i Foundation / Scott Nishi / Bryan Keith / Katie Barott / Mindy Mizobe / Amy Eggers
Nature Footage / BioQuest Studios / Feroxed / Plankton Productions
Peter Kragh
Plankton Productions
Shutterstock / d13 / INSOMNIA111 / Spotmatik / VIA films
Tim Wijgerde / Coral Publications
The End Game, Duane Sharman / Nik Green

A Canada-France Co-Production

Produced by Merit Motion Pictures, Capa Presse/Films à Cinq and ARTE France in association with Vulcan Productions

Produced with the participation of   

Canada Media Fund

MANITOBA TAX CREDIT  Government of Manitoba – Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit

Canada - Canadian Film and Video Production Tax Credit

Rogers Telefund

Produced with the support of
Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image Animée

For ARTE France:

Unité Découverte & Connaissance 
Hélène Coldefy

Commissioning Editor
Marie Beuzard

Business Affairs Manager
Nicolas Portes

For Vulcan Productions:

Supervising Producer
Aimee Link

Senior Manager
Kim Nyhous

Production Coordinator
Andrea Dramer

Engagement and Impact Director
Ted Richane

Business & Legal Affairs
Doug Coblens

For the CBC:

General Manager, Programming
Sally Catto

Executive Director, Unscripted Content
Jennifer Dettman

Senior Director, Documentary
Sandra Kleinfeld

Senior Director of Production, Unscripted Content
Alexandra Lane

Executive in Charge of Production
Sue Dando

Capa Presse/Films à Cinq

Merit Motion Pictures

The Nature of Things
with David Suzuki

Produced by
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation


© 2020 Reef Resurrection Films Inc.,  Capa Presse/Films à Cinq and ARTE France. All rights reserved.

Produced in association with
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

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