coral bleaching Coral Dies After Massive Indonesia Bleaching: “A Disappointing Development”

Coral bleaching. Picture: Bruno de Giusti

The Wildlife Conservation Society has recently released an initial report stating that there was a drastic rise in the surface temperatures in the waters of Indonesia, and has caused a massive bleaching event which has really sent coral populations into a tail spin.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s “Rapid Response Unit”, a group of highly trained marine biologists, was sent out to take a look into the coral bleaching reported in May. This bleaching event occurred in Aceh, located on the northern side of the island of Sumatra, and the team discovered that over 60% of the coral population was bleached.

This “Bleaching” – coral turning white when algae which has previously made its home there gets booted out – is indicative of stress on the coral by any number of environmental factors. It could be the temperature of the ocean’s surface, or any other number of things. Depending on what exactly is the root cause of the issue, bleached coral may renew itself overtime or just die off.

The sad state of affairs, is it appears that this batch of coral is following the latter… A second monitoring by the marine ecologists at the WCS, James Cook University, and Syiah Kuala University have been completed since early August and the results are very grim indeed.

The group discovered that 80 percent of some of the species of coral have died off since their initial assessment and even more of the coral colonies are expected to die off within the next couple of months..

Someone really needs to get to the bottom of this, and soon.. Or we may find ourselves with no coral in our oceans.