Dive into coral reef science with us on Friday, October 16th! Tune in to the online presentation as we learn about the exciting research being conducted by Nova Southeastern University. The presentation begins online at 6 PM.
As scuba divers, we know our coral reefs are not only beautiful, but important too. Even though coral reefs play a big role in our ocean ecosystem, making new corals is a difficult process. Corals only reproduce once a year, in August or September. They spawn, or release their eggs and sperm into the water. Coral spawning happens a set time after sunset, a few nights after a full moon. These conditions maximize the chances that eggs will be fertilized. Without fertilized eggs, they can’t produce baby corals.
Coral spawning is cued by annual temperature cycles, varying energy put out by the sun, and moon cycles. Unfortunately, changes to these cycles over the past decades have harmed coral spawning. These changes led to fewer baby corals being produced each year. As ocean temperatures rise and waters become more polluted, corals have suffered an even more dramatic decline. In some areas, populations are so reduced that corals now spawn too far apart for sperm and eggs to even meet.
Inducing Coral Spawning in a Lab
Luckily, a recent scientific breakthrough has increased hope that we can stop this harmful trend. Dr. Joana Figueredo’s lab, at Nova Southeastern University, has worked hard to induce coral spawning in a lab. She and her team copy natural temperature cycles, and sun and moonlight triggers that coral reefs experience in nature. By mimicking these conditions, they can induce coral spawning in the lab! Induced coral spawning happens on the same day and at the same time that corals spawn naturally on the reef.
By spawning and growing corals in a lab, we can keep them safe until they are ready to be outplanted. Then, scientists can plant these established corals on the reef to help replenish populations.
Register for the Inducing Coral Spawning presentation:
Ready to take action?
This month, make every dive count! Stop by the shop or book a dive charter with us and we will provide the supplies you need to keep our reefs clean.
Every cleanup participant will receive a FREE Great American Cleanup t-shirt as a special thank you gift. Report your finds via the Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell app. Your findings will contribute to global marine debris research.
Want to learn more about coral reefs? Join us to become a PADI Coral Reef Conservation specialty diver! Anyone is welcome to attend the class. There are NO age limits or prerequisites to become a Coral Reef Conservation diver. You do NOT need to be a certified diver.
The PADI Aware Coral Reef Conservation class takes place fully online. Check out upcoming dates and class details: