Full moon to spark coral spawning
Nature lovers and adventure divers may get the chance to witness the stunning annual mass spawning of corals off the coast of Western Australia next week. Experts predict that the coral spawning - one of the most amazing natural events in the Australian state - will take place seven to 10 nights following the full moon, lasting for three to four hours after sunset. Divers can witness the event at the Dampier Archipelago, Ningaloo Marine Park and Abrolhos Islands. According to Dr Chris Simpson from the Department of Environment and Conservation corals are at risk this year because of the water temperature has remained at a higher-than-normal level for some months now. Changes in sea temperature can be damaging as they cause high levels of stress which can lead to bleaching and coral deaths. Dr Simpson said: "If calm conditions occur during the coral spawning period this year it will increase the risk of coral spawn slicks forming on the ocean surface reducing oxygen and causing mortality in coral, fish and other reef biota."