Parts Of Great Barrier Reef Show Highest Coral Cover In 36 Years

August 9, 2022

Parts of Australia's Great Barrier Reef have recorded their highest levels of coral cover in nearly four decades.

great barrier reef recovery
Great Barrier Reef

The Australian Institute of Marine Science began monitoring the Great Barrier Reef 36 years ago.

Its latest report indicates that two-thirds of the reef recorded the highest amount of coral cover since the institute began monitoring the reef in 1985.

On the northern region, average hard coral cover grew to 36% in 2022 from a low of 13% in 2017, while on the central region hard coral cover increased to 33% from a low of 12% in 2019.

"In 2022, widespread recovery has led to the highest coral cover recorded by the LTMP in the Northern and Central GBR, largely due to increases in the fast-growing Acropora corals, which are the dominant group of corals on the GBR and have been largely responsible previous changes in hard coral cover," the report states.

These results show that the reef "is still vibrant and still resilient, and it can bounce back from disturbances if it gets the chance," said Mike Emslie, a senior research scientist at the institute.

Emslie still has concerns for the future of the world's largest coral reef system, but said this year has shown promise and "as of today, it's still a fantastic place."

Watch: How The Great Barrier Reef Was Formed

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