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Stress takes effect on reef: report



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RESULTS from the latest monitoring program Reef noted the decline in the number of corals in Cairns and stressed.

The report of the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences "The Current State of the Reefs" revealed a solid coral cover in the central and southern regions of the Great Barrier Reef, declining, while in the north, coral cover grew from 11% to 2017 to 14% in 2019.

In the central region, from Cooktown to Whitsundays, the average coral has decreased from 14% in 2018 to 12% in 2019.

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. Green Island.

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. Green Island.

The region departed from the lowest coral recorded in 2012 – after the Yachts cyclone in 2011 reached the highest average regional coverage in 2016 – 22%.

Since 2016, solid coral has been steadily declining to 12% in 2019.

The most effective reefs at Port Douglas were the Low Isles, Andersen and Aingort No. 1 reefs, which returned a solid coral from 10 to 30 percent during surveys conducted in February.

The fish float near the coral staghorn, which died from the effects of warm ocean temperatures and bleaching corals on the Hastings Reef near Cairns, part of the Great Barrier Reef's marine park. (adopted April 15, 2017). Image: BRENDAN RADKE

The fish float near the coral staghorn, which died from the effects of warm ocean temperatures and bleaching corals on the Hastings Reef near Cairns, part of the Great Barrier Reef's marine park. (adopted April 15, 2017). Image: BRENDAN RADKE

The solid coral median in the Cairns sector remained low (0-10%) and declined by nine reefs, while the reefs remained stable.

The report reports the bleaching events of corals occurring in the summer of 2016 and 2017 as a reason for poor coverage.

The leader of the AIMS monitoring program, Dr. Mike Emsley, said that some reefs return solid coral coverage, with major disturbances such as crown spikes, starfish, cyclones and coral bleaching events over the past ninety years, causing a general decline in corals.

Seven Caton Mike, Sonia, Elizabeth and Richard from South Carolina, USA, landed at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal after dipping into the Great Barrier Reef. Photo by STEWART McLEAN

Seven Caton Mike, Sonia, Elizabeth and Richard from South Carolina, USA, landed at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal after dipping into the Great Barrier Reef. Photo by STEWART McLEAN

"We know that reefs can restore the present and the right conditions, but in recent years there was little relief from the riots to allow for a significant recovery," said Dr. Emsley.

"The Great Bar Reef is still beautiful, and it is steady, but it faces unprecedented challenges."

Tourist Elizabeth Cato, who visited Hastings and Michael's reef yesterday reacted neutrally to the fact that she collided under the waves.

"I was shocked. We should see the black tip of the shark and the green turtle," she said.

Asked about the hard coral coverage, Ms. Couton said bleaching was visible.

"Colors are still there … It's not all bleached but it was not so much better than other places but it was not much worse."

The Big Reef Foundation today will publish a 113-page plan on how it plans to spend $ 444 million in federal funding to protect a living wonder.

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