SURG members and local dive operators have witnessed severe bleaching in the Solitary Islands, in particular the Pocillopora variety of coral.
The bleaching follows prolonged high seawater temperatures along the NSW coastline. These unprecedented levels even exceed the mass coral bleaching events in 1998.
A SURG three year study of coral health which concluded last year found the corals to be in generally good health. With recent reports of bleaching SURG is planning to conduct more surveys, using the same methodology, to assess the impact of this year’s high water temperatures.