Saturday March 17, 2012
A minor mass-spawning event was predicted for corals in the Kimberley region between March 15 - 17, 2012; 7 - 9 days after the full moon on March 8, 2012. Along with the help of AIMS coral expert, Dr Andrew Heyward, the team at KMRS was keen to observe and document any possible spawning activity on local reefs during this time. To do so, sample colonies of Faviid, Mussid and Acroporid corals at a near-shore reef close to the station were checked for gamete maturation in the field with colonies exhibiting mature gametes collected and set up in tanks at KMRS.
We are very excited to have witnessed the event and look forward to tracking future spawning events for local coral species. This observation represents a positive start to long-term studies of near-shore spawning activity and is significant in that it is the first time near-shore corals have been documented for spawning activity along the mainland Kimberley coastline.
KMRS would like to extend our sincere thanks to Dr Heyward for generously sharing his expertise with us and to the crew at Cygnet Bay for their ever-enduring encouragement of marine research ventures.