How do corals reproduce? Most corals are hermaphrodites (both male and female), only about one third are different sexes. There are few types of non sexual reproduction, one of them is budding – the corals create buds (like flowers) that break off and a new coral starts growing. Other one is a fragmentation, that happens naturally when pieces of corals break off due to waves, storms or marine life activities. When the conditions are right, the parts attach and develop into new coral colonies. There are two types of sexual reproduction of corals and one of them is spawning.
What is spawning? Once a year, at a specific day and a specific time, based on the moon cycle and the water temperature, colonies of coral reefs release their eggs and sperms into the water. They slowly drift to the surface where the fertilization process starts. When coral eggs and sperms join together as embryos, they develop into coral larvae and float in the water, some for days and some for weeks, before they drop to the seafloor where they attach to a suitable bottom and grow into a new coral colony. The growing process is slow, only about 4 inches / 10 cm a year.
We had the spawning time in Bayahibe area between August 9 and 21 and of course Mark and Iris from Go Dive Bayahibe team, along with other divers, volunteered again their time to monitor the spawning process of 11 different coral species. Not only it’s exciting to observe it, but who wouldn’t love to go for a fun night dive? At night you see some marine life you cannot not see during the day! Our team is helping to protect the corals and volunteering their time to help with reproduction of the corals in Bayahibe area all year around, not only during the spawning time. You can see how it’s done when you go for a dive at Coco Reef and Coral Garden. Help a protect the corals while scuba diving in Bayahibe area, as you can see it’s a long time process for them to grow bigger. While diving, do not touch any corals, make sure your equipment, fins and tank is not making any damage.