It’s that time of year again when our Great Barrier Reef get’s it on! A one-night-only massive coral orgy.
And this year’s spawning event is more important then ever. After surviving two incredibly tough years, with cyclones and bleaching events doing considerable damage, it’s important to let the world know that Reef is fighting back – and it’s very much alive.
Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef would like all of us to share this momentous event the world – using the hashtag #spawningGBR – they’d like all of us to share our Great Barrier Reef spawning experiences.
#spawningGBR is a citizen science project bringing together divers, reef operators, research boats and stations along the Reef to capture and share the stories, research and of course the natural phenomenon that is the greatest reproductive event on the planet.
This is the first time such a community effort has been initiated to report mass spawning across the Great Barrier Reef, we need as many people as possible to help report when and where the spawning is happening so that we can gain the best possible insight into how the Reef is fairing. If you going out on the Reef, download the Eye on the Reef app and report your sightings.
Have you ever actually wondered how corals – millions of tiny animals – procreate? With millions of tiny eggs – of course and that’s millions of eggs each. You’d think that if you’re stuck in a little limestone cup, it’s a bit hard to have a polygamous relationship with about a million other corals – but no – they’ve worked it out. They all have SEX on the same night! Talk about multiple orgasms…
The coral spawning takes place on the full moon (who’d have thought corals were so romantic?) in November, sometimes December, and it also brings in marine life that comes to feast on the ‘produce’ of that collective ejaculation. Whale sharks in particular are partial to a bit of ‘coral caviar’.
According to David Wachenfeld, Chief Scientist, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, this year’s coral spawning is a defining moment in the history of the Great Barrier Reef. The corals out there today have survived two consecutive years of coral bleaching – their genes are a genetic gold mine for the future of the Reef. We are hoping that the next generation spawned from these genes will be more resilient in the face of climate change.
— Citizens GBR (@citizensGBR) November 4, 2017
News about the coral spawning is included in this month’s free e-newsletter Reef Chat which shares some great images and videos of the annual event. Reef Chat has been published for the past three months in response to media, travel agent and traveller requests for up-to-date information on the Great Barrier Reef.
To subscribe go to bit.ly/ReefChat and we encourage those already on the subscription list to forward it to their contacts to encourage more people to discover what is happening each month on the Reef.