Aerial view of Hardy Reef, home to the Heart Reef, in the Great Barrier Reef.These images were taken on June 20, 2017 by a drone to assess if the Heart Reef has been bleached.
Aerial view of Hardy Reef, home to the Heart Reef, in the Great Barrier Reef.These images were taken on June 20, 2017 by a drone to assess if the Heart Reef has been bleached. WWF-Aus / Christian Miller

Heart of the reef discoloured but still pumping

THE heart of the Great Barrier Reef has survived destruction from Cyclone Debbie but it has suffered some coral bleaching according to WWF-Australia.

Heart Reef suffered some bleaching former climate change director for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority associate professor Paul Marshall said.

"I could see some dead coral, covered in algae, and it's likely bleaching was responsible. It shows no part of the Reef is immune to bleaching,” Dr Marshall said.

The footage released by WWF comes as members of the World Heritage Committee gather in Poland this weekend for their annual meeting.

The Great Barrier Reef is on the agenda and so is a report stating that most world heritage coral reefs are expected to be seriously impacted by climate change.

A WWF release stated that for more than 30 years, between 1970 and 2004, no category 4 or 5 cyclones crossed the Great Barrier Reef.

"But in recent years eight intense cyclones have hit the Reef: Ingrid 2005, Larry 2006, Hamish 2009, Yasi 2011, Ita 2014, Marcia 2015, Nathan 2015, and Debbie 2017,” the release reads.

Christian Miller who filmed the Bait Reef destruction said: "In my 25 years of diving around the world, the scene I saw at Bait Reef was one of the most devastating. It was like a bulldozer had been driven over it. There were piles of rubble everywhere.”


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