Just as a team from the United Nations were flying into Australia at the behest of James Cook University Professor Terry Hughes – seeking to have the Great Barrier Reef’s world heritage status downgraded – Adjunct Associate Professor Adam Smith was posing for photographs at John Brewer Reef for The Guardian newspaper. At that time, back on 20 March (2022), the mild bleaching and fluorescing at John Brewer reef was being described by Professor Smith as part of a fourth mass bleaching event and in an article for The Conversation, Professor Smith suggested it could take the corals 12 years to recover.
My daughter and I were back at John Brewer reef on Sunday 10th July, the coral that was featured in The Guardian on 22 March as severely bleached is now a healthy beige. It appears to have made a full recovery in less than three months.
Most of the corals at the reef crest at John Brewer are now various shades of beige to chocolate brown, and so the reef is looking exceptionally healthy.