Coral Spawning

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spawning1Twice a year, in September and October, one week after full moon, all over the world this miraculous event happens: the coral starts spawning. In a period of a few days several types of coral, sea urchins, soft corals, worms, brittle stars and sponges release their eggs and sperm.

Mostly during the (first part of) the night. Every species has its own moment. Since 1991 this phenomena has been monitored systematically by a marine biologist with the help of lots of local divers. This resulted in predictable spawning patterns of numerous species. Each year the spawning is a big diving happening in the Netherlands Antilles. It is coordinated by Reef Care Curaçao, an organization founded to make the local people and the government more aware of the richness and vulnerability of the underwater world.

spawning2The camera is my Nikonos V with the SB103 flashlight and Kodak 100 ASA film. The 1:3 extension tube is mounted between the camera and the 35 mm lens. The date is October 2nd, 1996 and the time is about 21:55.
A favorite spot in Curaçao to observe the spawning is 'Slangebaai' (Snakebay) near Boca Sami. For information, dates of the coral spawning for this year and to contribute to the spawning observations go to the Reef Care Curaçao web site.