Australian Marine Parks



The Coral Sea is a critically important and significant ecosystem, which (like coral reefs globally) is increasingly threatened by changing environmental conditions, particularly ocean warming.

Previous surveys conducted in 2020 and 2021 showed shallow reef habitats across the Coral Sea Marine Park (CSMP) experienced severe and widespread bleaching in early 2020, with almost two-thirds of all corals surveyed across the CSMP being bleached, and leading to a substantial (39%) decline in coral cover across the CSMP in 2021.

James Cook University was commissioned by Parks Australia to assess:

  1. the latest condition of benthic, fish and invertebrate communities,
  2. any ongoing impacts of the 2020 bleaching event on benthic, fish and invertebrate communities, and
  3. gain some understanding of the potential resilience and recovery of corals following the 2020 bleaching event.