Expedition update: Yonge Reef

With no access to the exposed reef today, we only managed to survey the northern and southern flanks of Yonge Reef. During our dives we spotted quite a few pelagic fish, these included White Tipped Sharks, Blue Fin Trevally, Barracudas and several curious juvenile Grey Reef Sharks. In the shallows, schools of reef fish such as Grey Sweetlips and Bumphead Parrotfish rode the surge over the reef crest. At the northern flank, the reef only extended to 10m in depth and was very patchy. The hard coral cover was quite diverse consisting mostly of massive and branching forms. Because of the broken reef structure, it was difficult to get a continuous transect but we still managed to cover most of it. The southern flank told a completely different story. This reef was a continuous wall extending to about 30m in depth. The wall was mostly covered in encrusting, soft and lace corals as well as a significant amount of macroalgae. In deeper waters, we saw branching corals (Acropora sp.) and sea fans growing out from the nooks of the wall.