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Rock-hopping and rain forest trekking on the trail of a critically endangered species

Film crew and underwater cameraman trekking through Obi Obi Gorge to find a filming location. Mary River, Queensland, Australia.

Dale & Tom are keeping their feet dry. Obi Obi Gorge.

I had an excellent day on the Mary River last week. The job was to gather some underwater footage of the critically endangered Mary River Cod (Maccullochella mariensis) and other critters and habitat. The footage is for an upcoming film on the Mary River Cod, produced and directed by Luke Barrowcliffe of Goorie Vision.

Film crew and underwater cameraman trekking through Obi Obi Gorge to find a filming location. Mary River, Queensland, Australia.

Gotta love this place as an outdoor office!

We were very ably assisted by Tom Espinoza of DERM (Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management) who has been researching species and the river system for a few years, and by Dale Watson of MRCCC (Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee), also an expert on the river and its wildlife. Tom and Dale proved invaluable as guides to the best waterholes… and as sherpas, helping me man-handle my 26kg camera through waterways and rainforest terrain. Thanks guys!

Film crew and underwater cameraman trekking through Obi Obi Gorge to find a filming location. Mary River, Queensland, Australia.

Many hands make light(er) work.

The water was not as clear as we had hoped, and only one location of the three we surveyed had enough visibility for any usable shots. Still, there were plenty of fish and we got what we needed. In fact, other than my fleeting glimpses on a previous shoot in the Mary River, the guys reckon this is the first time the Mary River Cod has been filmed in the wild.

—Josh

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