Expedition update: Wilson Reef

Unlike most of the reefs we’ve surveyed, Wilson Reef’s unique location and orientation make it exceptionally sheltered. In fact, its most exposed side faces the inner GBR. This reef is home to the largest tabular Acropora coral colonies the team has ever seen. Large plates of coral held in place by narrow stems dominated the reefs. We imagine that the sheltered state of the reef played a major role in facilitating the growth of such big colonies. While the team travelled between sites, we saw numerous feeding frenzies on bait balls - shoaling and schooling of small pelagic fish – so we decided to have a look. These schools attract many predator fish, which in turn attracts even larger predator species. As we carefully edged towards the feeding activity by snorkel, we saw huge schools of Bonitos encircling the Baitfish and encircling them was a number of Gray Whaler Reef Sharks. What really caught our attention though was the 3.5 m Bull Shark trailing behind.