It was Sunday morning and me? Scrolling through the feeds of every possible being. However, it came to an end when I came across a CNN post filled with a symphony of colors which quickly caught my attention. So while going through it for a while I came to know that it was based upon the latest news about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef spawning.
Basically, it was recovering from the extensive, deadly coral bleaching episodes and scientists monitoring the reef saw a huge amount of coral fertilization, by projecting a plethora of sperms and eggs into the Pacific Ocean.
Let’s drive into more details…
Now the first question arises, what actually is Coral Spawning? So Coral spawning is a vital process as well as evidence of how oceans are gaining strength. Once year corals simultaneously release eggs and sperm bundles (spawn) into the water.The Spawning event lasts for two to three months.These bundles then rise slowly to the surface where the fertilization process begins and eventually develop into coral.This phenomenon brings to mind an underwater blizzard with billions of colorful flakes cascading in white, yellow, red, and orange.When a coral egg and sperm join together as an embryo, they develop into a coral larva, called a planula. Planulae float in the ocean, some for days and some for weeks, before dropping to the ocean floor. Then, depending on seafloor conditions, the planulae may attach to the substrate and grow into a new coral colony at the slow rate of about .4 inches a year.
Fun fact: In 2021 the coral spawning event was predicted to be one of the biggest in all time.
CODE RED OF THE PAST
The network of 2,500 reefs covering 348,000 square kilometers suffered significantly from coral bleaching caused by unusually warm ocean temperatures in 2016, 2017 and last in 2020.The bleaching damaged two-thirds of the coral. This phenomenon occurs due to immense stress on the corals like a drastic change in temperature, nutrients, or light.
These changes cause the algae living inside their tissue to leave the corals and are expelled out, this in return causes the coral to turn white.However, this display is the living proof of the hopes of the earth’s self-restoration in the coming future and an increase in the development of a new generation and species of tiny organisms.
Beautiful coral reefs like The Great Barrier are the jewels of the ocean. It reminds me of The Finding Nemo, one of the most dominant features of my childhood. If you remember the introduction and end credits it shows beautiful structures, a cacophony of color combinations, which were inspired by the Great Barrier. I am sure hearing this news, somewhere Nemo, Marlin, and Dory are happy and enjoying the restoration of their home.
The fact you see the scenes of the film without the characters in it, allows the audience to take a step back and see the true journey of the film and that is how corals are destroyed due to bleaching. However, the movie also symbolizes hope for the future like the one we witnessed last year in 2021.
EFFECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES
Several environmental factors affect when coral is likely to spawn:
- The ocean temperatures must be 26 degrees or above for the month before for the eggs to mature enough.
- The coral will reproduce three to six nights after the full moon in November or December (in the northern Reef) when there’s less tidal movement.
- Spawning is also most likely to take place at least three hours after sunset when all plankton feeders are sleeping, giving eggs more time to settle into the safety of the Reef and ensuring a higher chance of survival.
- Climate Change is on the rise and the United Nations has warned the world that if we choose to live in ignorance the temperature of the world will rise by 2.5 degrees. Even if we try to stop this rise, it is predicted to rise by 2 degrees in 2050 which will cause a total Wipeout of the coral reef.
- The problem lies in the fact that these corals are 8000-year-which makes them older than Mahabharata. They naturally are not made to withstand such drastic change and they are now forced to adapt to such stress of temperature and heat. It is like the corals have no clue as to why it’s happening.
2021 – A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
The year 2021 was the year of fortune, at least for the environment. This fresh leap of life and hope makes these dull and gloomy times good enough for all. The distinctiveness of coral spawning is that it is unpredictable, no one knows when it is going to take place or will it ever take place. It is still a mystery. So, whenever it does it is a blessing sent from above.
TOGETHER WE STAND STRONGER WE STAND
Indeed, this is a piece of mind-bending information that provokes us to think about where this hazardous pollution is leading us and our planet we must promote environmental causes among the new generation and raise an environmentally conscious society. The aim of making movies like The Ariel, Finding Nemo is that children should relate to this problem, realize the problem, the threat, and save their own home from it.