Explosion of colour witnessed at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

25 November 2021, 13:35

Great Barrier Reef
Australia Barrier Reef. Picture: PA

The spawning event lasts for two or three days.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is spawning in an explosion of colour as the World Heritage-listed natural wonder recovers from life-threatening coral bleaching episodes.

Scientists recorded the corals fertilising billions of offspring by casting sperm and eggs into the Pacific Ocean off the Queensland city of Cairns.

The spawning event lasts for two or three days.

The network of 2,500 reefs covering 134,000 square miles suffered significantly from coral bleaching caused by unusually warm ocean temperatures in 2016, 2017 and last year.

The bleaching damaged two thirds of the coral.

Gareth Phillips, a marine scientist with Reef Teach, a tourism and educational business, is studying the spawning as part of a project to monitor the reef’s health.

Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is spawning in an explosion of colour (Gabriel Guzman/Calypso Productions via AP)

“It is gratifying to see the reef give birth,” he said.

“It’s a strong demonstration that its ecological functions are intact and working after being in a recovery phase for more than 18 months.”

“The reef has gone through its own troubles like we all have, but it can still respond – and that gives us hope. I think we must all focus on the victories as we emerge from the pandemic.”

By Press Association

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