Corals are made of tiny animals called polyps that produce a hard limestone skeleton and live inside it as a colony. The polyps of the corals constantly reproduce asexually by division, making their colony bigger but remaining in the same place. Only once or twice a year the polyps, synchronized by moon cycle, tides and water temperature, simultaneously release all their eggs and sperms in the water at night, performing their sexual reproduction: the Coral Spawning.
During this time only, the floating larvae are able to spread to new areas and start new coral colonies far away from where they were born.
The brownish-red slimy substance that is visible floating at sea and on the beach during the day is the result of the corals’ nighttime activity!
This amazing event is never exactly predictable: observation and monitoring have to be constant, especially after sunset: this year at Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Privé, we started to see the spawning on April 05th, while at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, located more to the North, the red waves appeared a few days later, on April 10th.
Apart from being a breathtaking sight to witness, the Coral Spawning tells us that our coral reefs, despite the harms of global warming, ocean acidification and pollution, are still healthy enough to reproduce and that a brand new coral generation is spreading this year again towards the Indian Ocean.