The truth about coral bleaching

Despite reported claims and counter claims over the last month about the 'death' of large swathes of the Great Barrier Reef, the true impact of this summer's major coral bleaching event is now emerging.

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Preliminary findings from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) show approximately three quarters of coral on the Reef has survived to date.

The vast majority of the impact is in the northern third of the Reef, from Port Douglas to Cape York, with the central and southern regions escaping significant mortality.

AIMS Chief Executive John Gunn said there was no doubt this was the most serious bleaching event to hit the Reef on record.