Surveyed 16 February 2013.
The first flank of Aureed Reef is partly exposed to the prevailing wind and sea conditions found within the lagoon of the Great Barrier Reef. Manta tow surveys were conducted on the reef slope. The reef slope is generally moderate dropping off into approximately 10m of water to a moderate sloping reef base composed mainly of sand and rubble. The reef structure has few features including bommies.
The benthic community was dominated by coralline/turf algae, but hard coral, soft coral, macro-algae, sand and rubble were also common. Hard coral cover on the reef first flank was high composed mainly of Porites species. The dominant coral lifeform was massive, but other forms such as branching, foliose and tabulate corals were also present in decreasing order of abundance. Coral bleaching was not present.
The fish abundance on the first flank of Aureed Reef was moderate. Conspicuous groups of reef fishes included sweetlip, parrotfish, surgeonfish, coral trout, damselfish and fusiliers. Crown-of-thorns starfish were observed on the first flank of Aureed Reef at active outbreak levels that may be expected to significantly reduce live coral cover.