The worlds most renowned naturalist, David Attenborough, documented one of natures most amazing scenes in the first part of his Great Barrier Reef documentary this week. Attenborough and his research team filmed one of the worlds natural wonders the annual coral spawning in the Great Barrier Reef. The amazing…
ATTENBOROUGH DOCUMENTS CORAL SPAWNING
The world’s most renowned naturalist, David Attenborough, documented one of natures most amazing scenes in the first part of his Great Barrier Reef documentary this week.
Attenborough and his research team filmed one of the world’s natural wonders – the annual coral spawning in the Great Barrier Reef.
The amazing phenomenon, which usually resembles an underwater snowstorm, occurs when hard coral polyps simultaneously release egg and sperm into the water column to increase the chance of fertilisation.
Daydream Island Resort and Spa’s Living Reef Manager John Gaskell said island biologists had seen the spectacular sight previously while night snorkeling in the waters off Daydream Island.
“The annual coral spawning is an event that has to be seen to be believed,” he said.
“The Great Barrier Reef coral spawning is often referred to as the biggest reproductive phenomenon on earth. We’re incredibly lucky to see such a rare event right here at Daydream.”
He said the event always occurred a few days after the full moon in November or December, around two to three hours after dark when most of the day predators were less active. When corals spawn, they produce what is known as a spawning slick, which can be metres wide and kilometres long and have a brownish or pink colour.
Mr Gaskell said that Daydream has a rich diversity of marine life immediately off the island supported by a complex fringing reef habitat.
“You can view much of this by simply snorkeling around the island or by scuba diving,” Mr Gaskell said.
“The fringing reef off Daydream is one of the healthiest ecosystems in the Whitsundays.”
David Attenborough’s three-part Great Barrier Reef documentary continues screening at 7.40pm on Sunday 17th April on the ABC and is available on iview.