Categorized | Volunteering

Volunteers needed for coral spawning documentation

A kitchen baster is used to collect gametes as the coral spawns. (Photo courtesy of David Kearnes/ )

A kitchen baster is used to collect gametes as the coral spawns. (Photo courtesy of David Kearnes/ )


Snorkelers, Divers, Paddlers, Water People!  Consider getting into the ocean early mornings the 2nd and 3rd day after the full moon in May to watch for and document cauliflower spawning.

Joan Prater, a long time ReefWatcher who managed to document spawning beginning several years ago, has given us some dates for this year: May 9, 10, 11 and/or 12.

At 6:30 a.m., begin swimming around the area you have chosen to observe … make sure you have cauliflower coral in that area.

If suddenly the visibility begins to get cloudy, the corals are spawning.  Or you may see the beginning of spawning when a cauliflower coral looks like smoke is floating off its surface.  Simply record what you see per the attached observation sheet.  Some seasoned observers will be gathering spawn to be analyzed. 

It’s cold in the mornings yet, so wear all the wetsuits you have.  The spawnings last year occurred between 6:45 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. So you are in the water awhile.   

The Keauhou Paddlers started this year’s observations in March.  They braved the cold and looked where spawning had been seen the previous year, but saw none.

When you do this activity, you are contributing to the existing body of knowledge about spawning activities of these corals along our coast.  Even if they don’t spawn on the day(s) you go out…that is information.

We ask that you e-mail your initial info ASAP each day you go out… say “Yes” and what time spawning was observed at your location, or “No” spawning was observed.  Later when you have time to fill out the observations sheet, e-mail that.  

Send all e-mailed information to Sara Peck at

One Response to “Volunteers needed for coral spawning documentation”

  1. am interested if time difference should be given for east Hawaii, are there any predicted dates for Montipora, Pocillopora, or Porites spp. plan on diving Waiopa`e MLCD in Kapoho.



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