Update on Bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef

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Scientists this week confirmed that the Great Barrier Reef has been hit by its third mass bleaching event in the past five years. However, the one good bit of news in the latest update, is that the reefs in the tourist and diving areas have not been badly affected.

More than 1,000 reefs have been aerially surveyed in recent weeks to established the level of damage caused by what was the hottest water temperatures ever recorded along the reef in the month of February this year.

The analysis of the surveys will be reported in the coming weeks but it has been established that some areas have been hit by the third mass bleaching event, having suffered in 2016 and 2017. It was also established that areas in the southern section of the reef which had previously escaped bleaching were affected this year.

However, Dr David Wachenfeld, from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, stressed the bleaching has been patchy in the 350,000 sq kilometre reef with many areas unaffected. He also pointed out that many of the areas hit should make a full recovery and that in many cases the coral is stressed not dead. See his full report below:



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