John Brewer Reef – Back to Beige

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Just as a team from the United Nations were flying into Australia at the behest of James Cook University Professor Terry Hughes – seeking to have the Great Barrier Reef’s world heritage status downgraded – Adjunct Associate Professor Adam Smith was posing for photographs at John Brewer Reef for The Guardian newspaper. At that time, back on 20 March (2022), the mild bleaching and fluorescing at John Brewer reef was being described by Professor Smith as part of a fourth mass bleaching event and in an article for The Conversation, Professor Smith suggested it could take the corals 12 years to recover.

My daughter and I were back at John Brewer reef on Sunday 10th July, the coral that was featured in The Guardian on 22 March as severely bleached is now a healthy beige. It appears to have made a full recovery in less than three months.

My daughter checking the colour of the corals against the University of Queensland coral health chart under the water at John Brewer Reef on 10 July 2022. The branching coral corresponded to D3 and the plate as C4. These colours indicate that the corals are healthy and replete with symbiotic algae. The growing tips of healthy corals are generally white.

A closeup of the branching and plate corals that featured in The Guardian on 22nd March as severely bleached. They are beige and chocolate brown respectively. These are healthy colours that correspond with D3 and C4 in the University of Queensland Coral Health Chart. The growing tips of healthy corals are generally white.

Most of the corals at the reef crest at John Brewer are now various shades of beige to chocolate brown, and so the reef is looking exceptionally healthy.

The reef crest at John Brewer on 10 July 2022. Photograph by Jennifer Marohasy.

According to the Coral Watch Coral Health Check Chart, the darker the brown the healthier the coral. This coral, and many of the corals at John Brewer Reef, score an exceptionally healthy C6.

There were some green corals at John Brewer Reef. This green branching Acropora would perhaps score a very healthy B5 on the Coral Health Chart.

The fish are so special, and still so blue. Photograph by Jennifer Marohasy at John Brewer Reef on 10 July 2022.

A yellow fish amongst the beige corals at John Brewer Reef on 10 July 2022. Photographed by my daughter.

There were a lot of very brown corals at John Brewer reef on 10th July. The growing tips of healthy corals are generally white.

A huge thank you to Nick and the crew at Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive for getting us safely out to John Brewer reef. Photograph of Jennifer Marohasy between the boat and the reef crest taken by her daughter.

The post John Brewer Reef – Back to Beige appeared first on Jennifer Marohasy.

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July 11, 2022