Cape Town - Earlier this year, Traveller24 reported on the status of choral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef. Mass bleaching had killed more than a third of the coral in the northern and central parts of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: One third of Great Barrier Reef coral killed by bleaching
Sadly, after the massive choral bleaching event in May these statistics have changed.
Unilad reports that mass bleaching occurred in 1998 and 2002, but that the reef recovered as sea temperatures dropped. The most recent bleaching event in May 2016, did not have a similar recovery and 60% of the affected areas are bleached white.
Even more alarming, according to the report, is the new damage. Crown and thorn starfish had also killed some of the weak coral.
Leading environmental writer Rowan Jacobsen has gone to the extent of writing an obituary to the 1 625 species of fish, 3 000 molluscs, 30 different types of whale and dolphin, species threatened with extinction like the dugong and large green turtle which once happily resided in the world's largest coral reef.
After the massive coral bleaching event in May, the reef was again examined in September. Prof Tim Flannery from the Climate Council reported to ABC, "We wanted to see how much repair there’d been, but the coral we saw bleached and in danger a few months back has now mostly died."
View the Climate Council's latest video on the state of the reef here:
In the rather stabbing, sarcastic obituary Jacobsen writes,"The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old. I used to have the best job in the world. Now it’s turned sour… I’m 71-years-old now, and I think I may outlive the reef."
Jacobsen quotes Charlie Veron, the Great Barrier Reef’s most passionate champion, "The whole northern section is trashed. It looks like a war zone. It’s heartbreaking."
ABC reports that even though the northern parts of the reef has been badly damaged, the southern parts are expected to recover. Tourists still enjoy experiencing the Great Barrier Reef, but tour operator John Rumney says it is merely because tourists do not know what the reef should actually look like.
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