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Published on Sep 30, 2015
Each year the reproduction process of corals and other interesting creatures on the marine reserve reefs of the Soufriere Marine Management Association (SMMA) attracts a greater number of visitors to the island to witness the event. For many years the Anse Chastanet Resort’s dive operation, Scuba St. Lucia, has accurately predicted the nights the coral spawning will occur; this year it was on September 5th and 6th.
On the first evening, many scuba divers and snorkelers were in the water on the Anse Chastanet Reef as the spawning started with elkhorn corals around 9:15 pm which was followed shortly by brain and boulder star corals. Quickly clouds of egg and sperm cells fill the sea providing a very spectacular site to be enjoyed. The fertilized eggs the drift and fall to the bottom starting the growth of new coral reefs.
On the second day of the spawning onlookers observed the ruby brittle star fish which also spawned in large numbers. Observing the brittle stars is similar to watching a magic act as they appear suddenly. It starts with one and within a blink of an eye the reef is teeming with a vibrant red as their numbers grow. Their goal is to climb to the highest points to release their eggs to make sure they can drift away freely.
This year we again observed the reproduction of a number of sea worm species. The unique thing about these worms is that when they make contact with something the blue worms appears to explode in what looks like thousands of tiny blue eggs while the red ones explodes in a cloud of what appears to be sperm.
Local divers and snorkelers are welcome to enjoy this spectacle, which next year we predict will occur on August 25 and 26, 2016. For more information contact Anse Chastanet at email@example.com or call the Scuba Centre at 1(758)459-7755.