For the island of Saint Lucia, coral spawning in 2010 is expected to August 31st to September 03rd, 2010
Often described as an upside down snow storm, corals spawn by releasing millions of packets of egg and sperm cells that appear underwater as massive pink and white clouds that slowly drift to the surface where fertilization occurs. The next day the sea will be partially covered by pink slicks of coral larvae which represents the next generation of one of the ocean’s most vital organisms. Within a few weeks the larvae will settle on the bottom and begin the process of reef building.
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While much of the coral spawning process remains a mystery to science, it is known that somehow each species of coral on a reef synchronizes the timing of its spawning, which takes place only once each year. The key controlling factors seem to be the water temperature, the lunar cycle, length of daylight hours and the tides. The development of the eggs and sperms are triggered by rising water temperatures during the summer leading to the spawning in late summer or early fall. The ideal time for the release of the reproductive cells has traditionally been experienced after a full moon when tides and currents are diminishing providing more hospitable conditions for the fertilization process.
The advantage nature has provided in the mass spawning process is to increase the chances of survival for the larvae. During spawning most will be eaten by fish and other sea organisms, but the huge numbers overwhelm the predators insuring that many will live to propagate the species. The process begins an hour or two after sunset providing the cover of darkness as well. Of course, this reproductive process takes on added significance at this time as the world’s coral reefs are being decimated by the effects of global warming and other environmental factors.
Scuba St. Lucia, Anse Chastanet’s PADI 5 * dive operation, is offering special night dives during the period to allow guests to witness this magnificent spectacle. Diving is done on the Anse Chastanet reef, which is located just off the resort’s beach. Snorkelers can also participate as well.
Weekly dive packages at ANSE CHASTANET begin at US 1999 per person in dbl occ, including accommodation, meals, airport transfers, tax/ service and 12 beach or boat dives.
For more resort information, visit http://www.ansechastanet.com and http://www.scubastlucia.com or contact Anse Chastanet and Scuba St. Lucia via email email@example.com or Tel 800-223-1108. Become an Anse Chastanet and Scuba St.Lucia Facebook fan
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