This is what I saw in Jun 2016 at the height of mass coral bleaching. At that time, the survey team asssess about 60% of the hard corals we saw were bleaching, 50% for leathery soft corals and 50% for sea anemones. Today, I didn't see any totally white coral colonies.on the shore facing Small Sisters Island.
|Mass coral bleaching seen in Jun 2016.|
Merulinid corals (previously Family Faviidae) were alright, but many colonies were mostly dead with only small portions of living tissue. There were some small colonies starting to grow on dead corals.
Flowery disk corals, all of them bleaching. I only saw one other small Disk coral.
Cauliflower coral, half of the colony was dead. I saw several Crinkled sandpaper corals that were alright.
Brain corals, most with dead portions.
Acropora coral growing on the sea wall and a few Montipora corals. I did not see any Carnation coral or Ridged plate coral.
Anemone corals, most with dead portions. The small Goniopora coral colonies I saw were alright although some had pale patches. And a few small Galaxy corals that were alright.
Asparagus flowery soft coral, and many small leathery soft corals of various kinds. None of them were bleaching.
Omelette leathery soft coral was seriously peeling, although it was not bleaching.
Sea mat zonathids, and Button zoanthids. None of them were bleaching. Although the Feathery soft corals had paler patches.
corallimorphs of various kinds in small clusters. None of them were bleaching.
Giant carpet anemones, none with anemonefishes. All were not bleaching. I saw one Haddon's carpet anemone with anemone shrimp. I saw a few Frilly sea anemones, some were very pale.
Tropical silversides and some Common mojarra. I saw one Snake eel and one small Anchor tuskfish.
Red egg crabs. One Spangled flatworm, a few Ornate leaf slugs. There were many large Common sea stars gathered closely together in the big lagoon.
Spoon seagrass in either lagoon. The small patch of Tape seagrass in the small lagoon was cropped.
1,000 pigs per day according to this Today article 14 May 2017).
|From Today, 14 May 2017|
located there. You can call to book a taxi or just go to the Pier and get a taxi. Most leisure visitors go with Island Cruise, which caters to tourists. More about the Sisters Islands Marine Park on the NParks website.
Photos by others on this trip