Coral bleaching survivors, which may hold the answers to restoring reefs, will make a rare flight from Queensland’s far northern Great Barrier Reef to Townsville today.
Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) researchers are among a group of scientists taking part in a GBR Legacy trip in the hope of finding surviving coral from the most severely heat stressed reefs off the northern cape.
AIMS coral biologist Dr Neal Cantin said Queensland’s far northern corals, which had lived through two serious bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, may help us understand how to grow new reefs.
“Some of the corals we have found alive on these damaged reefs are ready to reproduce and so we are flying up to 14 of these coral colonies to the AIMS National Sea Simulator where we hope they will breed and we can study them further,” Dr Cantin said.
The 450kg cargo of coral and seawater was carefully packaged and loaded on to a Cessna at Lockhart River this morning, for a chartered flight to Townsville.