Second successful night of spawning on Great Barrier Reef ·

Second successful night of spawning on Great Barrier Reef

Hard and soft corals alongside the Sunlover Moore Reef Marine Base, 54km off Cairns, spawned last night (Sunday, November 17) after a spectacular display by the Great Barrier Reef’s soft corals the night before.

Marine biologists Stuart Ireland from Calypso Productions, Gareth Phillips from Reef Teach, and Pablo Cogollos from Sunlover Reef Cruises were based on the Sunlover Moore Reef Marine Base to capture photos and video of the night-time coral spawning.

Mr Ireland, who has been filming the coral spawn every year since 1996 including the past eight years at Sunlover’s Moore Reef Marine Base, said it was one of the best displays he had seen in years.

“The corals are really looking spectacular since the bleaching events of 2016 and 2017,” he said.

Mr Ireland said the variety of hard and soft corals releasing eggs and sperm into the water was astounding.

“There was coral spawn everywhere last night. It was like a grey haze with beautiful pink bundles going up – it was a magical night,” he said.

“Stuart and I have been filming the spawning as a team for five years and this is the best I’ve seen. It’s a testament of how resilient the Great Barrier Reef really is.

“We expect to see more pressures in the future, but the Great Barrier Reef’s size, complexity and huge biodiversity makes it a very strong ecosystem.

“We need to nurture the reef through collaboration between tourism operators such as Sunlover, film makers like Stuart from Calypso, and reef research and educators like myself at Reef Teach.

“The reef has shown us that she is not lying down, she is doing extremely well and fighting for the future.”

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