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Japan Photo Journal: Coral spawn symphony

Photo provided by Katsuki Oki.
Photo provided by Katsuki Oki.

Light pink reproductive spawn from coral under the sea off of Tean, Amami Oshima Island, in Kagoshima Prefecture drift through the night radiating dreamlike light on May 25, 2019. Wildlife photographer Katsuki Oki, from the island's largest city Amami, took the images of the seabed around 50 meters away from the coastline. Branch coral such as Acropora pulchra and Acropora grandis simultaneously began to release their spawn at around 9:20 p.m., bathing the water in a tinge of pink. The coral spawning is expected to continue until summer.

    The coral release capsules of sperm and egg cells known as a "bundle," which float along the sea and burst at the surface, completing fertilization. The resulting baby coral then drifts along the sea for weeks until it attaches to a suitable place. Oki says, "The spawning was earlier this year because the sea has been warmer than usual." He added, "I was moved to see the coral life process. I hope many of their offspring find a place to settle and grow."

    (Japanese original by Kazuaki Kanda, Amami Local Bureau)

    Photo provided by Katsuki Oki.

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