Featured prominently at the Friday night reception and Saturday night dinner banquet, Coral Sea Dreaming was a visual feast and major highlight at the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America – MACNA 2011.
Filmmaker David Hannan, creator of Coral Sea Dreaming, and Dr Charlie Veron, scientist and discoverer of nearly a quarter of the world’s coral species, both gave talks and presentations and mingled with marine aquarium luminaries and devotees at this year’s 23rd annual event held in Des Moines, Iowa.
Shown on 6 large screens around the banquet hall, Coral Sea Dreaming created a fitting visual ambience for a celebration of reefs during David’s talk about his ‘Journey into the Age of Aquariums’ and also the backdrop for the Gala Dinner banquet.
“We now have the ability and technology to help radically change the way humans see, think and relate to marine creatures. Visual artists and the aquarium industry can work together to promote awareness and conserve marine species facing extinction in the wild… A modern equivalent to Noah’s Ark.”
Dr J. ‘Charlie’ Veron, former Chief Scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, explored this theme further in his talk: ‘Corals: What’s in a Name?’
“Today, with information technology, coral identification has taken another leap. We are now interfacing taxonomy with the genetic basis of species as well as their reproductive mechanisms. This has led to a re-think of evolutionary processes that underpin it all.”
While leaving the conference both exhilarated and exhausted, David and Charlie also renewed contacts, made new friends and connections, thanked host and event organiser Craig Johnston – and re-affirmed a role for Coral Sea Dreaming as an ‘ambassador’ for the fascinating, exotic world of coral reefs. The journey continues.
Originally published on DavidHannan.com