Great Barrier Reef explodes to life in ‘magical’ spawning event


(CNN) – The Great Barrier Reef has “give birth” in its annual coral spawn, which produces a cacophony of color at the Australian landmark.

Scientists working under the waves say they observed the phenomenon, in which coral releases sperm and eggs together, overnight off the coast of Cairns, Queensland, on Tuesday, hailing it as a positive sign. While the reef was able to regenerate despite ecological threats.

“Nothing makes people happier than a new life – and coral spawning is the world’s greatest proof of this,” said the statement, via Queensland Tourism & Events.

Phillips, from the research center Reef Teach, and his team of marine biologists, divers, students and photographers dive to the bottom of the ocean to capture footage of coral off the coast of Cairns, Queensland. Over the next few days, they would travel to other reef sites to try and watch the film.

“Magical” Conditions

Coral spawning is an annual event on the Great Barrier Reef.

Gabriel Guzman/Calypso Productions

Phillips called this year’s monitoring of the coral spawn from Cairns “the ultimate treasure hunt.”

“I’ve seen the corals fall all at once, but this time different species were visible in waves one after the other. The conditions were magical, with the glass of water and the beautiful light coming from the moon,” she said .

Phillips said his team swam in search of coral on the verge of spawning.

“Once we found a ripe coral, we noticed that each colony took about 30 seconds to complete its spawning. It was the ultimate treasure hunt… It was so exciting that we even caught the captain. took it and mixed it in the water.”

20211123_Flynn Reef_Point Break_Tit Shot of Aggregated Arcopora is ready for release @Credit Gareth Phillips ReefTeach100

These photos were taken during the 2021 coral spawning at Flynn Reef off the coast of Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

Gareth Phillips / Reef Teach

The Great Barrier Reef’s coral spawn is a coordinated annual effort—for most of the year, corals multiply by dividing and dividing, but once a year the coral simultaneously releases bundles of sperm and eggs into the ocean.

“Each coral larva sheds until it lands and settles at the bottom of the ocean,” Phillips said. “Spawning occurs over several days with different species on different nights.”

Annual coral spawning typically occurs from October to November, but timing can vary due to factors such as water temperature and currents. The spawn date can also fluctuate in the length and width of the 2,300-kilometre (1,429 mi) long Great Barrier Reef.

20211123_Flynn Reef_Point Break_Acropora releasing@credit Gareth Phillips ReefTeach108

Marine biologist Gareth Phillips said this year’s situation was “magical”.

Gareth Phillips / Reef Teach

sign of hope

For Philips, coral spawning is a sign of hope in the face of ecological troubles that have recently prompted UNESCO ask australia For a report on the state of conservation of the Great Barrier Reef as of February 2022.

Phillips said it was “gratifying” to see the reef give birth, an event that coincides with Australia’s decision to relax some of the world’s toughest COVID travel restrictions.

“This is a strong demonstration that its ecological functions are intact and functioning after being in the recovery phase for more than 18 months,” he said.

“The rock has gone through its troubles like all of us, but it can still react – and it gives us hope. I think we should all be focused on winning as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Top photo courtesy Gareth Phillips / Reef Teach