[Coral-List] bleaching in Australia

Hughes, Terry terry.hughes at jcu.edu.au
Sat Mar 19 19:25:25 EDT 2016

Dear Coral-List

Unfortunately, the northern section of the Great Barrier Reef is now severely bleached. In preparation for the risk of coral bleaching, we convened the National Coral Bleaching Network last November to plan a coordinated response across Australia's research and reef management community. The ARC Centre has allocated approximately $1million to respond to the 2016 bleaching on the GBR and elsewhere on tropical and sub-tropical reefs around Australia. We're focussing on the GBR, the Coral Sea, coastal and offshore reefs in WA, and sub-tropical reefs on both the east and west coast.

In the next few days, I'll conduct ten aerial transects (3-6 hour flights) throughout the 1000km region between Cairns and PNG that is most severely impacted by bleaching. Thereafter, we plan to expand these surveys to cover elsewhere in the GBR Marine Park south of Cairns. To eliminate observer-bias, the aerial surveys in Queensland will be conducted by myself and James Kerry.

We have relocated JCU's research vessel, the Kirby, from Townsville to Cairns, and it will operate from today in the northern GBR and Torres Strait for the next month. It will be joined shortly by two other vessels from the ARC Centre and the Australian Institute for Marine Science (AIMS). The GBR research stations, on Lizard and Orpheus Island in particular, are also fully engaged in the bleaching event. We are working very closely with the GBR Marine Park Authority and other management agencies in QLD, NSW and WA.

Thankfully, the southern GBR looks to be in the clear.

Members of Taskforce (and associated organisations):

Terry Hughes (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies; James Cook University)
Russ Babcock (CSIRO)
Maria Byrne (University of Sydney)
James Gilmour (AIMS Perth)
Scott Heron (NOAA, Townsville)
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (ARC Centre, University of Queensland)
Janice Lough (AIMS Townsville)
Ryan Lowe (ARC Centre; University of Western Australia)
John Pandolfi (ARC Centre; University of Queensland)
David Wachenfeld (GBRMPA)
Shaun Wilson (DPaW)
James Kerry (ARC Centre; Project Manager)

Cheers, Terry

Professor Terry Hughes FAA
ARC Laureate Fellow
Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811

Link to Terry Hughes Google Scholar profile<http://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=MhJ2LfsAAAAJ>

Email: terry.hughes at jcu.edu.au<mailto:terry.hughes at jcu.edu.au>
Phone: 61 (0)7 4781 4000
Website: http://www.coralcoe.org.au/postdocs/terry-hughes

ABC RN Breakfast: Interview on coral bleaching http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/widespread-coral-bleaching-detected-on-the/7212760

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