Reef Report for Thursday, April 7, 2016
Coral Bleaching event strikes the Great Barrier Reef, most dive sites seem to be spared, but is that good news?
Scientists from CSIRO are reporting that a significant and serious coral bleaching event is occurring on the northern third of third of Great Barrier Reef, mainly from north of Cooktown to the northernmost tip of Australia.
Due to higher than normal water temperatures, caused by the El Nino oscillation, and very likely strengthened by global climate change, corals in the Northern third of the Great Barrier Reef are at this moment expelling their symbiotic algae and turning white.
The longer this episode lasts the more coral are effected, and the more seriously more the effected corals are stressed or die, and the longer it takes to recover.
This is a developing situation, so it’s hard to give an accurate accounting of what is happening.
We are headed out to the reef next week to see what’s going on firsthand, and will post our impressions in our next news bulletin.
The news of this event is being spun all over the place, and we are a little disappointed in some coverage, especially those that point to scientists reporting on the event as exaggerating the seriousness of the issue for personal gain.
We’d love to see the dive operators up and down the coast unite to demand more effective protection for the Great Barrier Reef, so many folks here readily say how majestic the reef is where they go, but are afraid to say it’s a delicate ecosystem under threat.
Having a few pristine dive moorings is not as important as planning and executing a plan to protect this whole amazing ecosystem.
Coral Bleaching Taskforce: more than 1,000 km of the Great Barrier Reef has bleached
Tourism officials not panicking about coral-bleaching on far northern-reefs
Reef bleaching worse than first thought
Fitzroy island tour operator dismisses coral bleaching reports
Scientists scaremongering with forecast reef bleaching event
Tourist body downplays reef bleaching
The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com,
who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as many other local sources in the dive
Index of all reef reports.