Inshore corals spawn at Fitzroy Island
Massive boulder corals releasing eggs and squid feeding on a slick of coral spawn have been captured on video at Fitzroy Island off Cairns.
Fitzroy Island Master Reef Guide Azri Saparwan said the island’s successful inshore reef coral spawn on October 19 was the first step for the next generation of corals for the Great Barrier Reef.
“This is an exciting precursor to the annual Great Barrier Reef spawn expected to take place on the outer reefs off Cairns on November 16-17,” he said.
“I joined Stuart Ireland from Calypso Productions who has been filming the annual coral spawn since 1996 to see how healthy the reef is around Fitzroy Island.”
“We dived at Shark Fin Bay where the glass-bottom boat tours take snorkellers to see a variety of coral cover including clams, branching Acropora and Galaxeas as well as lots of diverse marine life.”
“The water temperature at the reefs around Fitzroy Island is almost one degree Celsius warmer than the outer reef so they tend so spawn earlier and this year it happened as predicted.”
“Calypso Productions captured vision of eggs emerging from large boulder corals and thousands of eggs and sperm being released from a variety of corals including Montipora.”
“After an hour or so there was a slick of coral spawn on the surface of the water which brought squid, worms and even a bright yellow sea hare out to feed.”
“The coral spawn is a positive sign for the Great Barrier Reef, but we still need to protect its future by doing our bit to slow climate change.”
Fitzroy Island Resort General Manager Sheena Matthews said the Resort was committed to minimising its ecological impact on the environment by minimising single-use plastic, removing rubbish, using an onsite sewerage treatment plant and monitoring water use.
“We sponsor the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on the island and provided seed funding for the Reef Restoration Foundation to build Australia’s first ocean-based coral nursery,” she said.
Rainforest-clad Fitzroy Island is just a 45-minute boat ride from Cairns city and where you will find secluded Nudey Beach, Australian’s Best Beach for 2018. For more information: www.fitzroyisland.com
Images and video of coral spawning at Shark Fin Bay, Fitzroy Island. Credit Calypso Productions: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/onvbqoe64occtut/AADCRg5HWomkchdiMZk_OaUTa?dl=0