GBR Bleaching 2016

GBR Coral Bleaching 2016 - Far North Great Barrier Reef Surveys

This is a report resulting from observations and data collected by recreational divers, who travelled from Thursday Island to Lizard Island. Due to the Bleaching event that started in March April on the GBR the divers decided to contribute part of their time with conducting citizen science based surveys in the remote areas of the far northern part of the Great Barrier Reef.

During the trip 21 dives were made and one reef flat walk. Every dive the recreational
divers spent 10 min of their dive collecting information on the reef health at 5 and 10 m
depth reported in this documented and based on:

  • Coral Health Chart Survey (CoralWatch)
  • Reef Health Impact Survey (RHIS) (Eye on the Reef)
  • Coral Bleaching Observational Survey (RHIS-bleaching) (Eye on the Reef)
  • Observational reef surveys in regards to Habitat mapping

team bleached anemone reef 

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solitary islands 2012

Solitary Islands Underwater Research Group
Coral Health in the Solitary Islands Marine Park 2012 - 2015

 In early 2012 Coffs Harbour's Solitary Islands Underwater Research Group (SURG) Inc. received $34,164 from the NSW Government through the NSW Environmental Trust to conduct research into the health of coral communities in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. SURG is comprised of citizen scientists from the Coffs Harbour area and the Clarence Valley.

 With summer 2015 round of surveys recently concluded the project is now complete, reefs adjacent to seven islands having been surveyed. A total of 25 sites were investigated, with 59 community members participating in coral health surveys spending 1400 person-hours on or under the sea.

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KUWAIT, Sept 14 2010 - Diving Team discovers widescale coral bleaching in Kuwaiti waters

Kuwait bleaching report

The Kuwait Diving Team have recorded a widescale bleaching occurrence of coral reef on the shores of Um Al-Maradim Island southeast of the country.

The team during inspectional rounds of marine life in the Kuwaiti shores, discovered bleaching that has affected more than 95 percent of coral surrounding the island, Head of the team's Environmental Projects, Mahmoud Ashkanani told KUNA on Tuesday. Coral bleaching is the whitening of corals, stress-induced expulsion or death of their symbiotic (an organism which lives in coral and gives it its distinct colour). This can be triggered environmentally and affects the coral's ability to supply these organisms with nutrients for photosynthesis (carbon dioxide, ammonium), thus leading to the organisms' expulsion. Ashkanani said that the huge scale of the bleaching is unprecedented, and has affected the all of the coral surrounding the island up to a depth of 10 meters. He added that dead fish were also found floating on the water surface, or laying between the coral, indicating to an extremely high water temperature of 34 degrees Celsius under a five-meter depth. The team have collected specimens of the coral, to dispatch to local and international labs for study, he said, calling for added significance to the phenomenon.

bleaching Kuwait bleaching Kuwait bleaching Kuwait bleaching Kuwait

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Bleaching Koh Tao 2010

 THAILAND, July 6, 2010 – Coral Bleaching Update, Koh Tao

 Over the last few months increasing sea temperatures and intense sunlight coupled with flat calm seas and low tides have lead to the most stark and vivid changes to our reefs on Koh Tao that any of us have ever seen.

Coral Bleaching has turned many of our corals a stark white colour with the threat lasting throughout a good part of April and May. (See attached Bleaching Report in May for Full details).

June (especially late June) saw a huge reduction in the stress on the local reef. See temperatures  dropped back to 30 degrees Celsius (from highs of 32 underwater and up to 34 on the surface, wind and cloud cover increased, visibility dropped all aiding the recovery of the coral.

What we are starting to see now is an increase in the abundance of symbiotic algae in the corals that have survived. Some corals have suffered mortality, but these thankfully seem limited to a few less robust species mostly of the family acropora. This recovery is evident in the increase in colour (from a stark white to a light brown or green and finally to a darker brown) with the hope that favourable conditions will continue, water temperatures will remain stable (or decrease) and the corals will continue to return to health.

We have continued our monitoring efforts using a number of methodologies at our disposal – Reef Check’s Eco Monitoring , Project Aware’s Coralwatch and our own tagged, numbered corals have been monitored using and photographic surveys. It is important to collect as much data as we can during this unusual phenomenon to establish the resilience of our local ecosystem.

Assuming recovery continues what we hope to determine is which corals are more robust and resilient to such events so that for future reef restoration projects we can look at protecting and preserving those species that are likely to survive.

We still have a long way to go but the signs are encouraging. If you would like to join us for any monitoring or restorative activities email Nathan Cook or logon to for upcoming events.

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