Members at our Club meeting on the 25th November were greeted with a wonderful and knowledgeable presentation on Soft Coral and the impact of bleaching on them, by Stefano Borghi.

He explained what is a soft coral, and spoke of the 4 main types that make up soft coral and are a large part of our magnificent Barrier Reef.
Stefano explained that whilst we might think of all coral as being only one type, the reality is that many types exist, some liking shallow water, other found in varying water depths, therefore they may be impacted differently by climate change. Stefano outlined that the impact was naturally a lot higher on the shallow water types of which we are most likely to see.
The corals which are impacted turn white and, for most soft corals, breakup and disappear, so sometimes when you look you don’t see the white areas as they have disintegrated completely, leading people to think nothing has occurred.
Stefano shared a number of various graphs and charts to highlight the issues, all of which are still undergoing lots of scientific work as the protection of the reef is very important.
He also spoke of the high level of expertise at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, and its high standing in the work they do. Most of us don’t understand the importance of the work they do.
Stefano was a very interesting and challenging presenter, and left the members with a better understanding of coral types and bleaching impacts, plus the knowledge that Townsville is a major centre for coral research.