coral spawning november 2022

Feel Great Features

Australia’s first offshore nursery gives birth: Coral spawns on the Great Barrier Reef November 2022

The Reef Restoration Foundation are tickled pink at the sight of thousands of tiny pink bundles of eggs and sperm, which erupted from Australia’s first offshore nursery at Fitzroy Island.

The branching acropora corals spawned for the first time ever just a few days ago, much to the delight of the not-for-profit Reef Restoration Foundation, who planted the corals just four years ago in 2018.

This coral nursery was the first of this kind in Australia and was produced after the Great Barrier Reef Authority granted a permit for a pilot research offshore nursery, which was erected off Welcome Bay on Fitzroy Island.

Coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef is a natural phenomenon and happens for just a few days each year after the November full moon.

Video by Calypso Productions

The spawning was recorded by three marine biologists, including Master Reef Guide Azri Saparwan, who helped to plant the corals in 2018. He says,

We planted coral cuttings in a degraded patch of reef and these pioneer species have grown to around 1m in diameter helping to create a healthy and complex habitat for various corals and marine life. Watching our coral babies reproduce for the first time to create the next generation of corals was a beautiful and humbling experience.

Master Reef Guide Azri Saparwan observes the coral spawning

Photo by Calypso Productions

The coral nursery is just one of several on the Great Barrier Reef in Tropical North Queensland, with the Reef Restoration Foundation owning two further nursery sites on the outer reef on Hastings and Moore reefs.

Cameron Bee, who is part of the Great Barrier Reef Legacy’s Living Coral Biobank project, believes that the coral nurseries are integral to reef restoration. He says,

We are facilitating reef recovery in a time when disturbances are more frequent and severe. Growing corals to create habitat is important but additionally taking them through to spawning is a milestone in our bid to maintain biodiversity.

The coral spawning at Fitzroy Island was part of a larger coral spawning event that took place over the Great Barrier Reef in Tropical North Queensland in the past week. A variety of reef restoration projects were implemented to ensure that as much of the spawn successfully develops into coral. For example, Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef set up floating “Coral Spawn Pools” to capture and hold spawn until it grows into larvae, before transferring it to another reef site.

Feel Great. Leave Greater.

Discover the feel-great stories and incredible initiatives from around the region.

Play your part

Leave the natural environment even greater than you found it during your trip to the tropics.

master reef guides great barrier reef
Great Barrier Reef
Ways you can help the Great Barrier Reef

There’s a sense of responsibility that comes when you’re visiting one of the world’s seven wonders; a calling to nurture nature. If leaving only footprints (or fin waves in this case) is high on your priority list, here are some ways you can help the Great Barrier Reef during your next holiday.

Read more
Four Mile Beach Port Douglas
Port Douglas
Accessible travel in Port Douglas

Chic, relaxed and full of charm, Port Douglas is Far North Queensland’s gateway to the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. The nature here may be wild, but there’s a realm of accessible activities for everyone to enjoy. Filled to the brim with a plethora of restaurants, bars and activities for every kind of traveller, it’s the perfect place to disconnect, relax and pull up a chair in the sunshine.

Read more
curtain fig tree accessible travel
Atherton Tablelands
Accessible travel in the Atherton Tablelands

From rolling green pastures, to endless blue skies, the Atherton Tablelands is the Far North’s most underrated answer to pure adventure. The cooler-climate makes its stunning array of landscapes a treat to indulge in, no matter how you choose to do it. Discover accessible travel in the Atherton Tablelands with this guide.

Read more
Mission Beach & Cassowary Coast
12 things you didn’t know about Paronella Park

Riddle us this – where can you find a tourism attraction that’s eco-certified, heritage-listed, completely carbon neutral and just one-and-a-half hours’ drive from Cairns CBD? The middle of Mena Creek, home to Paronella Park.

Read more
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Accessible accommodation in the Cairns region

When it comes to exploring the Tropical North, there’s a wondrous world of accessible adventures and activities to indulge in. To add to the mix, the Tropical North is proud to offer a range of accessible accommodation options that work for everyone.

Read more