Spawn­ing has Reef on re­bound

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Con­tin­ued from Page 1

It fol­lows re­ports from a num­ber of Reef oper­a­tors that the mass spawn­ing was the best they’d seen in six years.

But its abil­ity to cope and re­pair from stress is likely to be tested in the com­ing sum­mer months with sea tem­per­a­tures tipped to be ripe for coral bleach­ing.

James Cook Univer­sity coral reef sci­en­tist Pro­fes­sor Mor­gan Pratch­ett said it was still too early to pre­dict what would oc­cur this sum­mer.

“We are re­ally watch­ing the weather and that will be a crit­i­cal de­ter­mi­nant as to how bad it might get to­wards the peak tem­per­a­tures in March,” he said.

He added the coral spawn­ing event was good news in terms of the Reef’s abil­ity to re­seed.

Dr Miller said the dis­cov­ery of a su­per coral site was also ex­cit­ing news for the fu­ture of the nat­u­ral won­der. A to­tal of 195 coral species were found in a 500 me­tre stretch, mak­ing it one of most di­verse sites ever dis­cov­ered.

“This un­der­pins the im­por­tance of our work for fu­ture re­search re­cov­ery and restora­tion ef­forts that will use spawn har­vest­ing tech­niques,” Dr Miller said.

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