World-Class Spawning Dives

Palau is known for its crystal-clear waters, breathtaking coral reefs, and abundant marine life. And while Palau is home to a diverse array of marine species, it is perhaps best known for its spectacular fish spawning events, which attract divers from all over the world.

Depending on season and moon phase, thousands of fish gather in Palau's waters to spawn. The fish form massive clouds, swirling and darting around each other in a mesmerizing display of life and movement. And they are not alone. Sharks and tuna, the hunters of the sea, also gather in the area, waiting patiently for their chance to strike.

As a scuba diver, there is nothing quite like witnessing a fish spawning event in Palau. The sheer scale of the event is awe-inspiring. It is not uncommon to see schools of fish that number in the thousands, moving as one through the water. And with the predators lurking nearby, the tension in the water is palpable. But despite the danger, the fish continue their dance. They are driven by an instinct that is older than time itself, a primal urge to reproduce and continue the cycle of life. And as they spawn, they create an underwater world that is both chaotic and beautiful.

For divers, the experience is like nothing else. The colors and movement of the fish are simply breathtaking, and the sheer number of animals in the water can be overwhelming. In Palau, fish spawning is a reminder of the incredible diversity of life that exists in our oceans. It is a testament to the power of nature, and a reminder of our responsibility to protect these delicate ecosystems. For those lucky enough to witness it, a fish spawning event in Palau is a memory that will last a lifetime.

Fish Aggregation & Spawning

Fish aggregations for spawning are an extraordinary natural event that takes place when large numbers of fish come together in a specific area for the purpose of reproduction. As a scuba diver, observing this phenomenon can provide a unique and awe-inspiring experience, but it's important to understand the factors that influence these aggregations and the role they play in the marine ecosystem.

One of the most significant factors that influence fish aggregations for spawning are season and moon phase. In many species, the spawning season coincides with specific environmental conditions, such as water temperature, light, and food availability. As these conditions become optimal for reproduction, male and female fish are attracted to specific spawning grounds where they will mate and lay eggs.

During spawning aggregations, the concentration of fish can be immense, and scuba divers may witness large schools of fish swimming in unison, exhibiting courtship behavior, or releasing eggs and sperm into the water. These aggregations can include a wide variety of species, from colorful reef fish to larger pelagic species, such as tuna or sharks.

As a responsible scuba diver, it's crucial to always prioritize the well-being of the marine environment and follow sustainable diving practices. Avoid touching or disturbing the fish and their habitat, and report any signs of illegal fishing or other harmful activities.

In conclusion, observing fish aggregations for spawning can provide a unique and unforgettable experience for scuba divers. However, it's important to understand the role of these aggregations in the marine ecosystem and to prioritize responsible diving practices to ensure the long-term health of the environment and its inhabitants.

Moon - Time of Day - Currents


The lunar cycle has a significant impact on fish spawning. Fish tend to spawn during specific phases of the moon, particularly during the new and full moons. This is because the gravitational pull of the moon on the Earth's tides can trigger fish to spawn. Additionally, during the full moon, the increased amount of light can stimulate fish to spawn.

Time of day

The time of day can also influence fish spawning. Many species of fish tend to spawn at dawn or dusk when the light is low. This is because the low light levels make it more difficult for predators to locate and attack the spawning fish. Additionally, the water temperature can be cooler during these times, which can be more conducive to successful spawning.


Water currents can also play a crucial role in fish spawning. Fish will often spawn in areas where there is a consistent flow of water, such as in a river or near the mouth of a stream. The currents can help to disperse the fish eggs, increasing the likelihood of successful fertilization and hatching. Additionally, the currents can bring in nutrients and oxygen to the eggs, which can increase the chances of survival.

Overall, fish spawning is a complex process that is influenced by a variety of factors. The moon, time of day, and currents are just a few of the many factors that can impact when and where fish spawn. By understanding these factors, scientists can better predict fish spawning behaviors, which can help to inform fisheries management and conservation efforts.

Palau Spawning Events

Humphead Parrotfish Spawning

Humphead Parrotfish can be identified by their bulbous bump on their forehead. They are the largest member in the parrotfish family and can grow over one meter in length. Just before the new moon cycle schools of thousands of these fish will migrate for a short spawning interval. The aggregation occurs for approximately 30 minutes, then they propel themselves towards the surface in an explosive demonstration. The surrounding water becomes milky with millions of tiny eggs that will be swept out to sea.

Minimum Number of Divers: 6 • Price/Diver/Dive $95.00 • Every New Moon
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Twin Spot Red Snapper Spawning

Shortly before each FULL MOON, the Twin Spot Red Snappers gather in the early morning in their THOUSANDS. The snappers come from the surrounding areas and gather over the reef. When the tide begins to change, the fish rush to the surface and explosively release sperm and eggs. On numerous occasions we can observe large pelagic predatory fish such as bull sharks, silver tips and oceanic black tips, which see the schools of snappers as a welcome source of food.

Minimum Number of Divers: 6 • Price/Diver/Dive $95.00 • Every Full Moon

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Sailfin Snapper Spawning

Sailfin snappers are commonly known as deep-water residents. However, a few times a year these fish gather on the shallow reef and aggregate to spawn. In the months of March / April / June a massive accumulation and a breathtaking spawning spectacle takes place in PELELIU, where tens of thousands of these fish meet. Please note that this dive depends on the moon phase and the tides, which is why it must be planned in advance.

Minimum Number of Divers: 6 • Price/Diver/Dive $95.00 • Peleliu Island March/April/June

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Moorish Idol Spawning

Moorish idols are known to accumulate and spawn between December and late January. The schools, which can consist of several hundred, race through Palau’s outer reefs and over slopes. The spectacle gets even better when groups of fish move away from the reef or to the surface to release eggs. This is the key trigger for sharks and other predators to hunt the Moorish Idols while they lack the protection of the reef.

Minimum Number of Divers: 6 • Price/Diver/Dive $95.00 • December to Late January

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Orange Spine Unicorn Fish Spawning

Every February, large groups of these wonderful fish flood the outer reefs of Palau. Of course, this mating dance of the unicorn doctor fish also attracts large predatory fish which are always on the lookout for easy prey. Really an unforgettable adventure.

Minimum Number of Divers: 6 • Price/Diver/Dive $95.00 • February

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Definition of a Spawning Dive

A spawning dive is an exceptional early morning diving experience that takes place at the Ulong Island area. As one of the most anticipated dives of the day, it provides the opportunity to witness the unique and awe-inspiring phenomenon of marine life spawning. The spawning dive is scheduled for the early hours of the morning, with the boat departing from Fish 'n Fins at around 5:30 am. The dive team will conduct careful checks at the dive site to ensure optimum conditions for observing the spawning activity, thereby guaranteeing an unforgettable underwater adventure. It is essential to note that the spawning dive is an add-on to a 2-tank dive day, replacing the first dive of the day. However, you may choose to book a 3-tank dive day to enjoy the complete experience. Either way, the diving adventure promises to be a memorable and thrilling experience.

EARLY MORNING DIVE • Departure 5:30 AM • Add-on to 2 Tank Dive Day

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oceanic black tip shark at spawning dive in Palau