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The Acid Test

When you think about the impact of climate change on the reef, you probably think about coral bleaching. Few people have heard about ocean acidification, but for many marine scientists this is an even more worrying issue… just harder to explain because you can’t see the impacts as easily as you can see bleached coral.

However, Acid Test, a new documentary starring Sigourney Weaver, produced by the National Resources Defence Council (NRDC) explains ocean acidification in terms we can all understand.

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Coitus Interruptus?!

Coral Spawning Update

We anticipated a split spawning this year (because the full moon was so early in November), and we’ve got one. Initially, conditions looked good for the coral to spawn in November, but a change in the weather brought rougher and cooler conditions than expected, and although a few corals went ahead and spawned anyway, most held back. This means you have another chance to catch them in flagrante! If you’re feeling voyeuristic, and want to get in on the act, contact Deep Sea Divers Den (Tel: 07-4046-7333) or Tusa Dive (Tel: 07-4047-9100) who are running coral spawning trips on:

Sunday 6 / Monday 7 / Tuesday 8 December 

The Cove in Cairns

Stop Press!
The Cove won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature of 2009!

The CoveThe award-winning movie The Cove is coming to Cairns as part of the Sydney Travelling Film Festival, and will be screened at: Cairns City Cinemas, 108 Grafton Street  at 7:30pm , Sunday 22 November.

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Coral spawning – the biggest orgy on the planet!

Coral SpawningThe Great Barrier Reef is about to give birth! Once a year, on just a few nights, over 150 species of corals along the Great Barrier Reef give birth during the biggest orgy on the planet! This extraordinary mass reproductive event is unparalleled anywhere on earth. Corals need exactly the right conditions (sea temperature, tides, time of day) to spawn, and mass spawning usually occurs 4-6 nights after the full moon in November. This year, because the full moon occurs so early in the month, scientists predict it will occur between the 6th and 8th November, with a potential second (split) spawning in early December. Don’t miss your chance to witness this incredible event: Deep Sea Divers Den (Tel: 07-4046-7333) and Tusa Dive (Tel: 07-4047-9100) are both offering spawning trips for snorkellers and divers on:

Friday 6 / Saturday 7 / Sunday 8 November 2009

To learn more about coral spawning, read our newsletter “Sex on the reef!”

Return of the stingers

Chironex fleckeri1st November marks the official start of the Stinger Season when swimmers and divers need to take precautions against Box Jelly and Irukandji stings. Young box jellies grow up in the creeks all around northern Australia, and begin to turn up along our beaches when heavy rains flush them out of the creeks and along the coastline. They are active swimmers but are mainly found close to the coast along our beaches and fringing reefs. At this time of year, swimmers should only swim in the stinger nets put up on popular North Queensland beaches (from Cooktown down to Rockhampton) and wear a stinger suit or wetsuit for protection when snorkelling or diving.   Continue reading

The outlook for the Great Barrier Reef

At Reef Teach we often get asked about the future of the Great Barrier Reef e.g. how will climate change affect the reef, what about shark fishing, pollution, etc. Obviously we don’t have time to talk very much about these issues during our evening presentations. However, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has recently published the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009 which considers many of these questions. Continue reading