1998 saw the death of corals on a scale never before witnessed. From East Africa to the Caribbean, corals began losing their pigmentation and turning as white as their skeletons. The process is known by it’s appearance as coral bleaching and, if severe, the coral dies. Though coral bleaching was first noticed early this century , the mortality unprecedented with many reefs in the indian Ocean completely wiped out. Surprisingly the scale of the event was barely reported and many people – even scientists – seem only dimly aware that it happened.
Filmed in three oceans, Silent sentinels is the first extensive investigation into one of the greatest biological disasters of the modern age. It charts the unfolding story of coral bleaching as scientists have grappled to understand it and offers strong evidence that the latest event was caused by the rising of the sea temperatures. It seems clear that this rise threaten the existence of coral reef as we know tham.