Each year, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (Aims) surveys the health of the GBR, using aerial surveys and divers slowly towed by boat. This year ther survey has found that coral has recovered from storms and bleaching events to record levels across much of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
While coral cover in the southern part of the reef has decreased, northern and central areas have the highest amount of coral cover since monitoring began 36 years ago. However, officials say the new coral is particularly vulnerable – meaning the progress could be quickly undone by climate change and other threats. After the fourth mass bleaching in six years was confirmed in March, Aims had grave concerns ahead of this year’s study.
“In our 36 years of monitoring the condition of the Great Barrier Reef we have not seen bleaching events so close together,” said chief executive Paul Hardisty.