Supplement to the Interim report: 2016 coral bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef

29 Nov 2016

This supplement by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to the interim report provides an update on current Reef-wide surveys being conducted by GBRMPA and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. This second round of in-water reef health and impact surveys commenced in October, and is due to be completed by the end of November 2016. The surveys will provide an updated assessment of bleaching-related mortality and reef health and resilience following the 2016 mass coral bleaching event in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The structured survey plan covers the same 63 reefs across seven transects examined earlier this year, as detailed in the interim report, to allow for comparisons and representation of Reef-wide patterns. The transects (reef groupings) are located at latitudes centred on Cape Grenville, Princess Charlotte Bay, Lizard Island, Cairns–Port Douglas, Townsville, Whitsunday Islands and Rockhampton. Some additional reefs were also surveyed where possible, giving further information on bleaching-related mortality over time. It will take several months to complete analyses and reporting, however preliminary findings provided here confirm general spatial patterns of bleaching impacts as described in the interim report. These findings do not yet include information for the Townsville transect. Impacts remain highly variable within and among reefs and regions. 

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