Monday, July 21, 2008

Coral Spawning on Saipan

Four days after the July full moon! Get your cameras ready that's tomorrow!

It's that time of year again! Time for mother nature to take the spotlight, front and center but first a few local links you may wish to check out in preparation:

Peter Houk, DEQ marine biologist extraordinaire has written a great piece in Beach Road Magazine as well as in the Saipan Tribune this past week.
The Marianas Dive Forum has a thread going discussing the upcoming event and with any luck a few of our members will be posting pictures and video of the event as it happens or as quickly as they can get dried off and download some pictures and video!
There are also a couple of other links you many want to check out if interested in reading a little more about how corals regenerate themselves. This one from the University of Guam, and this one from our friends in Palau where the corals spawn following the April full moon. Here's a link from the BBC with its own video.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control I will not be in the water filming this years event. In fact I won't even be in the CNMI! Trust me I'm not happy about it. Last year shortly after the coral spawning Marianas Dive was born in part because many divers out here felt not enough information about Saipan's diving was made available for people to take advantage of. One of the things we pointed to was how the coral spawn could occur under our noses with very few divers knowing about it or knowing exactly when it would occur. Many people expressed frustration with our marine biologists from the government agencies for not giving this event the attention it deserves and a proper "heads up" to local and international dive communities.

Well not true this year! I'm happy to say, this year at least, it is unlikely many divers will miss this spectacle from a lack of being in the water. The information has gotten out there and I have no doubt, it is at least in part, due to the activities of this group - another feather in the cap for all of us at Marianas Dive. Now lets just hope mother nature does her thing as predictably as she's done year after year and the battery packs on all those cameras hold enough juice to capture the action in detail. Did I mention just how frustrated I am not being there to do my part in bringing this spectacle to your computer screen!

At the moment when you do a Google search for "coral spawn Saipan" the top hit is (sorry Greg) a very poor video from Greg Morretti. He'll be the first to admit he was just happy to be there last year and capture anything at all since right before the dive he lost what I recall to be his second camera in about as many months. He captured this on one he borrowed at the last minute from someone else on his dive boat.

Here's another link to a Youtube video that comes second on the list for that Google search. When I saw it the irony of where the feed comes from and what large marine park they discuss in the piece was not lost on me. Hmmmmmm what do you suppose next years news report on KSPN could look like given mother natures predictability and the possibility of us having our own internationally recognized marine monument. Please, for all of you against the proposed marine monument concept WATCH THIS VIDEO!


The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Nice video.

Saipan Kat said...

Hi Mike. I was wondering if you could point me to a good, yet reasonably priced, dive instructor? I really want to learn how to dive before summer ends and before I start growing feathers and chicken out.

scubatripp said...

Saipan Kat,
Email me and I'll give you the scoop as to what I know. If you can wait a bit until I get back to Saipan we can probably figure something out that works for you but email me.
scubatrip (at) mac (dot) com