Being at response level 3 basically means that the coral species that are normally most sensitive to bleaching, such as the colourful branching and table corals, have already moved from paling (and therefore some chance of recovery) to death…Furthermore, at level 3 the more bleaching-tolerant boulder corals have begun to dramatically pale at more than 10 different sites in several parts of the reef. To put it in simple, stark terms, multiple areas of the reef are now dead and dying…This is not just linked to current El Niño, which is now showing signs of waning. Response level 3 calls for continued monitoring and stronger management measures such as the tightened pollution caps discussed(!) by federal environment minister Greg Hunt in the wake of the bleaching seen over the past few days.
>more> The Conversation