Global coral bleaching over the last two years has led to widespread coral decline and habitat loss on the Great Barrier Reef.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chairman Russell Reichelt said ongoing and future climate impacts were concerning.
“As has been the case with reefs across the world, the Great Barrier Reef has experienced significant and widespread impacts over the last two years,” he said.
“We’re very concerned about what this means for the Great Barrier Reef itself and what it means for the communities and industries that depend on it.
“The amount of coral that died from bleaching in 2016 is up from our original estimates and, at this stage, although reports are still being finalised, it’s expected we’ll also see an overall further coral cover decline by the end of 2017.”
Throughout 2016 the Marine Park Authority, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies conducted extensive surveys of the mass bleaching.