A small group of very lucky divers got to witness some coral spawning in the fall of 2022 in Dragon Bay one of the reef diving sites in our Molinere Beausejour Marine Protected Area (MBMPA).
Using the best suggested times as shared by CANARI we went out looking for some Montastreae cavernosa (MCAV), Great Star Coral, and Colpophyllia natans, Boulder Brain Coral, between the hours of 7-8 pm. The Great Star corals were quiet, however we did catch either a very small spawning effort or the end of a larger show on a Boulder Brain coral (CNAT for our fellow coral nerds) colony at 19:17. The timing after sunset is important for future efforts in trying to track the successes of our coral reproducing on our reefs, and potentially any research or assisted fertilisation efforts that may come too 😉
The fun wasn’t over yet! As we were moving along to the end of our normal 60 min bottom time profile the magic really started to happen with Star corals (not the Great Star coral but a smaller polyp cousin). We were lucky and saw the prep phase, when the polyps appear to swell, a few minutes before spawning starts (called setting). Then for half an hour we just floated between colonies cheering for mother nature and feeling so very fortunate to be a part of this big fascinating world. The Orbicella sp, star coral spawning started around 19:40 pm and lasted 30 mins.
We didn’t catch any footage on this dive sadly but did enjoy it the old fashioned way, in person and in the moment. Stay tuned for opportunities to join us for coral spawning events or brittle star spawning events in the coming months 🙂
Christine was recently invited to join a DLAB in-situ assisted fertilization week in Roatan with Roatan Marine Park and SECORE International and sponsored by NOAA and MPA Connect (see links below). An amazing week with evening diving coral spawning in action and successful assisted fertilisation and deployment of a SECORE in-situ crib system. Such a cool week and we are looking forward to developing opportunities for DLAB predicted spawning in Grenada with an anticipated peek in June 2024! I’f you’re interested in joining Christine and our group in the water please reach out early!
For those interested in more info follow the links below and always check out AGRRA.org for a wealth of Caribbean coral reef health parameters. Featured in the link below is our very own Marine Biologist Christine seen here on a DLAB coral spawning dive in Roatan with MPA Connect and the Roatan Marine Park, along with some cool regional peeps (Barbados Blue 🙂 and plenty ocean warriors.
Nature is amazing!!!
Diving with Sun Divers in Roatan, crew seen in the team photo, thanks for the dives!!