A two-year investigation by scientists into the mysterious death of corals at the Flower Garden Banks Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico has wrapped up.

The study began in July 2016, after divers observed that sections of coral and their organisms had died and were covered in a white bacterial coating.

Since then a team of scientist has tried to find the cause of the die-off, but have been unable to link a specific event or action to the death of the corals. Recently a group of 40 scientists from around the world came together to discuss the issue and publish their findings.

One thing that came to light from the event is the importance of long-term monitoring, even on relatively healthy reefs. This allows researchers to build up a large dataset and fully understand how specific areas function and what factors might impact them, which ultimately could lead to better responses to these kind of events in the future.

You can find out more information here or read the full report here.

Check out a video of the sanctuary below.