Coral Bleaching in PNG region

Sun Mar 10 00:16:06 EST 1996

The following was sent to me by John Rewald, Motupore Research  
Station in PNG dated 07-MAR-96. 
A sig. area from S of Normanby Island through Cape Vogel, and to  
Tufi is suffering from coral bleaching over the past 3 weeks,  
extending down to 20 m. Bleaching in shallow water is most  
extensive - almost 100% in some areas, including soft corals and  
anemones. Water temps have been 29 to 30 deg. C during DEC for  
past 2 months. This is the longest recalled period of warm water  
in Milne Bay province - weather also calm and skies relatively  
clear. Reefs N of Normanby/Fergusson Ids are not affected to any  
degree though signs are there. Corals appear live at the moment  
with patches of dead coral and beginning of algal growth. I will  
be monitoring bleaching over next 5 weeks.  
These are observations from Bob Halstead, operator of dive boat  
Telita and he requests advice from scientists as to what he  
should observe. Please contact Rewald on jrewald at 
(note: no dates and precise locations provided and Rewald is  
currently travelling to Australia - good luck) 
Clive Wilkinson 

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