Stunning underwater video that was recently released by the World Wildlife Fund shows a turtle-eye’s view of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the largest living structure on Earth and one of the world’s most biologically diverse places.
The small, carefully fitted GoPro camera was strapped to the back of a turtle as part a comprehensive conservation project looking to find out more about the levels of pollution in the reef, according to WWF-Australia, which posted the nearly 4-minute-long footage on its Facebook page on June 25.
In this instance, the organization stated it was specifically looking to better understand how tagged green turtles behave once released.
The crystal-clear video shows the turtle gliding effortlessly through the turquoise water, passing coral and various fish along the way, and even ever-so-briefly surfacing. Less than 3 minutes in, however, the GoPro camera falls off the turtle, forcing a following diver to pick it up.
The video’s release came just ahead of UNESCO’s vote to keep pressuring Australia to deliver on its promise of taking action to protect the reef, a news release posted on WWF’s website stated.
The move gives the government roughly 18 months to report back on its progress.
Additionally, the Australian government has until 2019 to show that the Great Barrier Reef is healthier, or else it may be placed on the “In-danger” list in 2020, according to a WWF-Australia Facebook post.
The organization responded to UNESCO’s decision by declaring “Victory” in a separate Facebook post. The organization anticipates the move will result in a ban on dumping in the reef’s World Heritage waters, possibly within months.