23 Mar 2017

Coral bleaching reversed off New Caledonia

2:22 pm on 23 March 2017

Corals which were bleached off New Caledonia last year have been found to have recovered this year.

A marine biologist at the IRD research institute in Noumea, Francesca Benzoni, said a check of seven sites found that the reefs were quite resilient unlike Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

She said the catastrophe scenario envisaged last year has not eventuated although a small section of the reefs has died.

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Photo: 123 RF

Scientists have attributed last year's bleaching to high temperatures, weeks of little wind and strong UV light while this year the hot weather was accompanied by bouts of wind, rainfall and cloudiness.

By contrast, the bleaching off Australia's coast had continued.

New Caledonia's reef, the world's second biggest, is a World Heritage site.