August – Coral Spawning
Island Ventures took the NOAA team out to Horseshoe reef on Friday to witness the last of the August coral spawning events.
Friday night was some of the Boulder coral’s suspected spawn time frame. About 3/4 of boulder coral “broadcast spawn” by releasing gametes into the water in order to spread offspring. This broadcast spawning is typically synchronous, and often several species will spawn on the same night. Cues for synchronous spawning include lunar cycle, day length, and temperature.
This creates a dramatic event in which the clear water is filled with gametes, creating a brilliant spectacle.
Unfortunately the corals weren’t as frisky as we’d perhaps hoped on the night, but it was a great evening diving nonetheless.
The data the NOAA team collect is valuable in understanding the unfortunate health of our coral reefs in the Florida Keys, and how we can protect it in the future.
We look forward to ongoing conservative efforts in the future!
Diving is still fun, whatever the cause 🙂