A scientist and Director of Reef Explorer Fiji says the coral reef bleaching in recent days has caused decades of damage.
High water and atmospheric temperatures drained the colour out of the reef in a matter of days.
Victor Bonito, who was on hand to see the discolouring, as well as the deaths of thousands of fish, said the bleaching will have a range of impacts.
"It's going to impact the fishing ground for many years to come. Corals are the foundation species of the reef. Without corals we don't really have the habitat that supports the local fish communities that local people depend on. Obviously the reef in the areas affected won't be as attractive to tourism as well."
Victor Bonito said although he is not keen to see Cyclone Winston return to Fiji, it is a double-edged sword as the storm will bring cooler rains and cloud cover and help the coral reef recover.