Occurring once a year, coral spawning takes place on the Great Barrier Reef under the cloak of darkness. Linked to the phases of the moon and water temperature, coral release both sperm and eggs in to the water simultaneously, increasing the likelihood of fertilization.
Many avid divers wait for a chance to experience this natural miracle, which usually happens in November after a full moon and rising water temperatures and can last anywhere between a few days and a week.
Resembling a snowstorm after being shaken, with speckles of pink, yellow and orange floating around in the water, the sperms and eggs rise slowly to the surface where the fertilisation begins. When an egg has been fertilised by a sperm, it develops into coral larva called a planula that floats around the water for several days or weeks before it settles on the ocean floor, starts to bud and a coral colony develops.
A local marine biologist based on Daydream Island, Johnny Gaskell was lucky enough to witness the coral spawning this year which took place over two nights on the 27th and 28th November. (see related video link above)
Cumberland Charter Yachts does not recommend snorkelling at night time and should anyone wish to expeirence a coral spawn, it should be done on a guided tour with an operator.
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