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Four Things to Know About Coral Spawning

Happens once a year

Coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef happens only once a year. Colonies and species of coral polyps simultaneously releasing tiny egg and sperm bundles from their gut cavity into the water. The coral expel their sperm and eggs at the same time, and by doing so increases likelihood that fertilisation will take place.


The only mass coral spawning in the world

In other parts of the ocean only a couple of colonies may spawn, but here in Townsville we have 12 families of coral that are of the spawning variety. Up to 88% of the coral may spawn during this event! The Great Barrier Reef coral spawning has been likened to being in a snowstorm underwater.

Only happens at night

Coral spawning only happens at night after a full moon. The day length, tide height and salinity levels are also deciding factor as to when the event will happen. This means that you will get to experience scuba diving at night! Diving at night is a totally different experience from diving during the day so you will be enjoying a whole new experience!


Mass spawning provides food

The coral spawning event lasts between a few days and a week because different species release their eggs and sperms on different days to prevent hybrids from being produced. This attracts other marine creatures as the eggs and sperms act as a source of food. So not only will you get to see coral, you will also get to experience a large number of marine life as well!


For an ocean lover, there are few experiences more festive than watching the reef’s Big Bang; the future reef snowing upwards towards the surface in a pink and white flurry, brushing your face and fingertips on their way. It is a magical, slightly disorientating once-in-a-lifetime experience on many divers’ bucket list.