Great Barrier Reef sees record coral deaths

2016-11-29 19:55
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Canberra - Australian scientists say warming oceans this year have caused the biggest die-off of corals recorded to date on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies said on Tuesday that the worst-affected area was a 700km swath in the north of the World Heritage-listed 2 300km chain of reefs off Australia's northeast coast.

It found that the northern swath had lost an average of 67% of its shallow-water corals in the past nine months.

The centre based its findings on dive surveys in October and November.

The governments of Australia and the state of Queensland will update the Unesco World Heritage Centre this week on progress being made to protect and improve the reef, including their response to coral bleaching.

Read more on:    australia  |  marine life

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