Legacy to cap­ture the sex life of coral

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Mark Mur­ray

THE Port Douglas based Great Bar­rier Reef Legacy have started doc­u­ment­ing the great­est sex show on the planet us­ing some of the world’s best pho­tog­ra­phers and film­mak­ers.



pho­tog­ra­pher of the year Justin Gil­li­gan and GBR Legacy founder Dr Dean Miller are on hand to cap­ture the coral spawn­ing event as part of the search for so­lu­tions ex­pe­di­tion.

Spawn­ing started “in dribs and drabs” ear­lier this week but was be­gin­ning to come alive, ac­cord­ing to Dr Miller, who lives in Port Douglas.

“We are cer­tainly all hop­ing tonight and to­mor­row night will be the big event,” he said from the outer reef.

The Legacy team col­lected 40 live coral colonies from four dif­fer­ent reefs to be tested by the Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Marine sci­ence. They’ve been at sea for two weeks.

Dr Char­lie Veron said a ‘su­per site’, orig­i­nally found by the re­searches on last year’s ex­pe­di­tion, has since been de­clared the most di­verse coral site ever found.

“All of us here agree, this is by far and away the best site we all know of.

“It’s up here in the Far North where the bleach­ing was at its worst,” Dr Veron said, re­fer­ring to the 2016 and 2017 bleach­ing events.

Jake Crosby, an ed­u­ca­tion co-or­di­na­tor on the first leg of the trip, said four outer reefs also showed a high coral cover, di­ver­sity and sup­port­ing a mul­ti­tude of marine life.

“While very pos­i­tive and up­lift­ing, this wasn’t a com­plete sur­prise, as ev­i­dence of this was seen dur­ing our first ex­pe­di­tion,” he said.

“Sadly, the in­shore reefs vis­ited ap­peared to not fare as well and had very lit­tle coral cover.”

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