Coral Spawning Night Dives with Silverswift
With the festive season on the way, there was a different kind of “snowstorm” in the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef!
Described as an upside-down snowstorm as corals release millions of eggs into the warm water, adventurers aboard Silverswift's Night Dive excursions were able to combine the excitement of night diving with the dramatic and unique spectacle of witnessing coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef in early December.
From Great Adventures' Norman Reef platform, groups of divers and snorkellers were able to participate in guided tours and in addition to experiencing the coral spawning, divers were able to see a whole new cast of nocturnal reef life.
With the conditions just right, being about 4 to 6 nights after the full moon, with warm ocean waters consistently above 26 degrees celcius for the previous month and little tidal movement, nature was on cue for the annual phenomenon.
Quicksilver marine biologist, Russell Hore, explains that while corals have two reproductive methods, asexual where the individual polyps split and divide to increase overall size of the colony, to maintain a consistently robust gene pool corals need to have a sexual phase to exchange genes. This process is known as coral spawning.