Unbelievable to watch: The parrot fish breeding after a full moon has been called a spectacle to witness. *Photo supplied
Unbelievable to watch: The parrot fish breeding after a full moon has been called a spectacle to witness. *Photo supplied

It has been dubbed ‘group sex reef’ by some divers.

And it is rapidly becoming one of the hottest dive spots on the island for two very different reasons.

Not only is it home to one of the most historically significant wrecks in Bermuda; the Mary Celestia.

But for a very short period of time every year it is the site of an incredible parrot fish breeding spectacle.

It is not known exactly why the thousands of fish gather at this same spot just off the south shore each year.

But just last week, after the full moon, thousands of a different species of parrot fish descended on the wreck to breed.

Custodian of wrecks, Philippe Rouja, told the Sun that the continual monitoring of the protected site had also shown the resurgence of the stoplight parrot fish. 

Dr Rouja added: “Prior to the fish pots ban these parrot fish in particular were heavily impacted and these aggregations suggest that Bermuda may be able to look forward to a resurgence in population.

“The aggregation site falls within the protected zone created for the shipwreck of the Mary Celestia which is buoyed by the Department of Conservation Services with help from the Stempel Foundation.

“Two sets of enlightened community driven Government decisions; banning fish pots and creating protected dive sites find perfect synchronicity at this site.

“We specifically dove the site last week on the full moon and were lucky enough to see what looked like active spawning behaviour of the yellow tail parrot fish and the striped parrot fish.”

Dr Rouja’s comments come as the countries across the globe prepare to mark World Ocean’s Day this weekend.

Kevin Lutton, from Dive Bermuda, said: “This mass aggregation of parrot fish happens just after the full moon.

“It happens in a very specific location on the wreck for just a short period of time, which is odd.

“It’s an unbelievable spectacle to witness and whenever we take people up to the wreck at this time of year we always show take them to the spot where this happens too.”

Volunteer diver Judi Clee told the Sun: “It really is an incredible spectacle.

“And from a diving perspective, not only do you get to dive the Mary Celestia wreck – one of the most famous wrecks in Bermuda – but you get to see all the incredible marine  life converging on one spot.” n