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Coral spawning predictions and tips to experience it.

The Carmabi Research Station in Curacao has once again calculated their best estimate as to when corals will spawn in 2018 in the southern Caribbean. Many visitors plan their dive trips just to witness this phenomenal event, especially in the months of August, September, or October.  Not only do corals spawn in these months, but many other marine invertebrates as well.

Predicting these spawning times is definitely not an exact science, but it is now well known that the various species of coral and other spawn in cycles that are closely tied to the full moons in the months of August, September, and October each year. After years of studies and documentation, we have predictions which are the best guesses as to which species will spawn when. The best way to enjoy this unusual phenomenon is to plan to spend lots of time making night dives when here during the spawning season.

The 2018 predictions.

Click on the graph to view an enlarged version.

Coral Spawning Predictions for 2018 on Bonaire.
  • Question marks indicate that spawning may or may not occur on the date, it is unpredictable.
  • min BS = minutes before sunset
  • min AS = minutes after sunset
  • Note that the times listed in this table are predictions based on last year’s observations. They do not guarantee that spawning will occur at the specified times.
  • The 2018 August spawning is especially hard to predict because of an early full moon.
  • Help with next year’s predictions!  Report your observations to Carmabi.  Email the species, time, and general observations, images if possible.

Best tips for witnessing coral spawning.

  • Make multiple dives
  • Dive in areas with high coral cover
  • Keep your depth to no more than 50 feet/15 meter to maximize your bottom time
  • Use a moderately bright dive light

(Source:  Carmabi Research Station)

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Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 



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