I surveyed this shore at the height of mass coral bleaching in July 2016 where I estimate about 80% of the hard corals and 50% of the leathery soft corals are bleaching, and 10-20% of the corals have died recently. We visited again in Dec 2016 during an evening tide that was not very low and when the Sargassum was in bloom, so I couldn't really see how the shore was doing.
Barrel sponges, but not many other sponges.
Boulder pore corals were nice and brown. I saw a few that were pale or oddly coloured.
Anemone corals and some colonies were mostly dead. The Small goniopora coral colonies I saw were mostly alright although pale.
Pebble corals of various colours. One was very pale.
Merulinid corals (formerly Family Faviidae) were common, most seemed alright though many were neon shades.
Flowery disk corals. About half were pale or oddly coloured.
Thin disk corals. They all appeared fine, although one had yellowish patches.
Disk corals on the reef edge. They seemed alright.
Zebra coral, Pock-marked coral. Also Tiny ring coral, and one Tongue mushroom coral. I did not see any Cauliflower coral, Sandpaper coral or Galaxy coral.
Leathery soft corals of various kinds. Most were alright except for one colony that had 'peeling' skin. I saw a few small colonies of Sea mat zoanthids, they were not bleaching.
Giant carpet anemones. One had 4 anemonefishes in various sizes from large to small. The one with fishes looked a little bleachy. Oh dear. Anemonefishes can't survive without their anemone home to protect them.
Reef octopus, several large Spangled flatworms, one Spider conch, many small Brown egg crabs. I only saw one Long black sea cucumber.
False scorpionfish, Long-spined waspfish, Blue-spotted fantail ray, Fringe-eyed flathead, Bengal sergeant and Eeltailed catfishes, Carpet eel-blenny. I saw Shadow gobies and filefish too.
Tape seagrass clumps were cropped short. The lush spoon seagrasses just at the entrance to the natural rocky shore seemed to have disappeared.
Knobbly sea star. There were also some Clear sundial snails, and a few small Garlic bread sea cucumbers. In the sandy lagoon, there were some Common sea stars.
Haddon's carpet anemones. Two had anemoneshrimps. About one-third of the anemones were pale or bleachy looking. I only saw one Frilly sea anemone and it was very pale.
Slender sea pen.
Estuarine sea horses.
dolphins! He says there were two, probably a mama and her baby. He patiently let us film themr. We saw a dolphin (or two?) moving along the shoreline of St John's.
Dolphins are regularly reported at St John's Island. But this is my first time seeing them for myself. I do hope the dolphins don't get caught in fishing nets. Dolphins breathe air and will drown if they are trapped.
Photos by others on this trip
Others on this trip: Wayne Tan, Niv.