Mass Coral breeding fills Great Barrier Reef with different hues

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 Mass Coral breeding fills Great Barrier Reef with different hues
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Highlights

  • Scientists report mass spawning of coral species in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.
  • Mass breeding has caught the attention of divers and marine biologists.
  • The mass breeding of the corals is seen when the World Heritage-listed natural wonder was reeling under severe ecological threat and was on the brink of being listed as an endangered World Heritage Site by the UN.

In what is viewed as a positive development, World's largest coral reef system, Queensland's Great Barrier Reef, is spawning explosively, creating a cacophony of color as the Country's top tourist attractions recovers from life-threatening coral bleaching episodes. Mass breeding has caught the attention of divers and marine biologists. 

On Tuesday night, Scientists recorded the corals giving birth to billions of offspring by casting sperm and eggs into the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Cairns. This is seen as a positive development as the reef was able to fertilise despite ecological threats. Usually, the spawning event lasts for two or three days. 

The network constituting 2,500 reefs encompassing 3,48,000 sqkm suffered considerably from coral bleaching due to a rise in ocean temperatures in 2016, 2017 and 2020. The bleaching ravaged two-thirds of the coral.

The Great Reef's coral spawn is a harmonised yearly effort -- for most of the year, corals increase in numbers by splitting and dividing, but once a year, the coral concurrently releases bunches of sperm and egg into the ocean. 

Each year, coral spawn mainly occurs from October to November; however, timings can differ due to factors such as water temperature and currents. 

As per media sources, Gareth Phillips, a marine scientist with Reef Teach, has stated that the event of Corals giving birth coincides with Australia's decision to start easing some of the World's most difficult Covid travel restrictions. Phillips further noted that the recent spawning indicates that the ecological functions are intact and working after being in a recovery phase for over 18 months.

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