Coral

AIMS' Long-Term Monitoring Program measures the status and trend of reefs in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
AIMS' Long-Term Monitoring Program measures the status and trend of reefs in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Continued coral recovery recorded across two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef

Published today, AIMS’ Annual Summary Report on Coral Reef Condition for 2021/22 shows another year of increased coral cover across much of the Reef.  The report summarises the condition of coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) from the Long-Term Monitoring Program (LTMP) surveys of 87 reefs conducted between August 2021 and May 2022 (r

The increasing frequency of warming ocean temperatures and the extent of mass bleaching events highlights the critical threat climate change poses to all reefs, particularly while crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks and tropical cyclones are also occurring. Future disturbance can reverse the observed recovery in a short amount of time.

AIMS monitoring program team leader Dr Mike Emslie

Fire corals have a bright yellow-green and brown skeletal covering and are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical waters
Fire corals have a bright yellow-green and brown skeletal covering and are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical waters

Fire corals spreading on Caribbean reefs

Sessile organisms, such as corals where adults are immobile and their growth position is determined at settlement, are confronted by unique circumstances arising in that particular location.

In some habitats, anthropogenic effects are causing large changes in community structure, as well as the environmental conditions to which they are exposed.  On a densely populated reef space is a limited resource. One of the ways organisms can win that space is through the strategy of shape.

Swimming and diving at Hon Mun Island in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Vietnam halts diving off popular island to protect coral

Recent photos taken off Hon Mun Island (also known as Ebony Island)—about 14km from the city of Nha Trang and popular with divers thanks to its diverse ecosystem—showed the reef bleached and damaged.

Consequently, the Nha Trang Bay management authority has decided to halt swimming and scuba diving activities in areas around Hon Mun Island, Macau News Agency reports.

In a statement, the authorities said the ban was to “evaluate the condition of the sensitive area so that an appropriate plan to enact the sea conservation area” could be made. 

Eunicella verrucosa, the broad sea fan, pink sea fan or warty gorgonian, is a species of colonial Gorgonian "soft coral" in the family Gorgoniidae. It is native to the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean and the western Mediterranean Sea.
Eunicella verrucosa, the broad sea fan, pink sea fan or warty gorgonian, is a species of colonial Gorgonian "soft coral" in the family Gorgoniidae. It is native to the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean and the western Mediterranean Sea.

Cold Water Corals Predicted to Be Resilient to Climate Change

Species distribution models have become a valuable tool to predict the distribution of species across geographic space and time.

Model predictions revealed current areas of suitable habitat beyond the current northern range limits of the pink sea fan, in areas where colonies have not yet been observed.

Coral reef conservation can be expanded with the engagement of the tourism sector, and that doing so would be a benefit to the tourism industry
Coral reef conservation can be expanded with the engagement of the tourism sector, and that doing so would be a benefit to the tourism industry

Guide to Coral Reef Restoration for Tourists

The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is pleased to share the publication of a guide to coral reef restoration designed specifically for the tourism sector – the first-ever for the Caribbean region.

The reef was found in November, during a diving expedition to a depth known as the ocean's "twilight zone" - part of a global seabed-mapping mission.
The reef was found in November, during a diving expedition to a depth known as the ocean's "twilight zone" - part of a global seabed-mapping mission.

Pristine coral reef discovered off Tahiti

A research mission, led by UNESCO, found the reef, which stretches for nearly three kilometres and exists at depths down to 70m (230ft). This is around the ocean's "twilight zone," where there is just enough light to sustain life, and below which the ocean transitions into a dark abyss.

The reef probably took around 25 years to grow. Some of the rose-shaped corals measure more than two metres in diameter. This is highly unusual because, up to now, the vast majority of the world’s known coral reefs sit at depths of up to 25m.

Shadowfin soldierfish (Myripristis adusta)
Shadowfin soldierfish (Myripristis adusta). Growl and grunt sounds have been associated with soldierfish

The sound of coral reef recovery

Croaks, moans, purrs, growls, foghorns, whoops, grunts... these are just some of the many sounds that are heard coming from a healthy and diverse coral reef.

Researchers, who wanted to find out just how healthy restored reefs can be, focused on parts of reefs in Indonesia previously destroyed by blast fishing. The areas were restored through the Mars Coral Reef Restoration Project for years preceding the study.