BBC UK reports (November 28, 2016) that with the higher water temperatures in 2016 the Great Barrier Reef in Australia (The worlds largest Barrier Reef) has suffered great consequences. Some 67% of corals died in the reef’s worst-hit northern section, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies report said. The situation was better in the central section, where 6% perished, while the southern reef is in good health. But scientists warn recovery could be difficult if climate change continues.
What is coral bleaching you might ask:
The algae who lives symbiotically with the corals, turns sunlight into food, and without the allege the coral will starve. Coral bleaching happens when water temperatures rise for a sustained period of time or due to water pollution. When this happens the coral gets stressed and the algae leaves the coral. The algae (zooxanthellae) living in the Coral tissues gives the coral its pretty colors. When the algae leaves the coral it causing the coral to turn completely white. This is called coral bleaching. When a coral bleaches, it is not dead. Corals can survive a bleaching event, but they are under more stress and are subject to mortality. Coral bleaching is what leads to the white, skeletal appearance of the coral, which is left without its main source of energy.The study also found that the coral which survived the bleaching have now come under greater threat from predators such as snails and crown of thorns starfish.
This year’s mass bleaching was the worst-ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef. For more information please watch the BBC link.
Sea Lily donates portion of our proceeds to coral replanting and ocean conservation. Please join the cause and either donate directly to ocean conservation organizations or purchase a Sea Lily garment.