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60,000 crown-of-thorns starfish removed from the Great Barrier Reef

By Shane Graber - Posted Mar 08, 2013 10:00 AM
Since August 2012, more than 60,000 destructive crown-of-thorns starfish were removed from the Great Barrier Reef. This number shows just how severe the infestation is on one of the world's largest reefs.
60,000 crown-of-thorns starfish removed from the Great Barrier Reef

Ugly, poisonous, and eats coral. Photo by Ewen Roberts / Flickr.

These scourges of the reef were removed from Lizard Island and Cairns as well as pockets in the Whitsunday according to Environment Minister Tony Burke. These starfish were injected with sodium bisulfate, which is toxic to them, but considered environmentally safe to other life on the reef and the effort was carried out by divers from the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators.

"The divers have done a great job in culling more than 60,000 crown-of-thorns starfish, and that figure will only climb over the coming months as their efforts continue," Mr Burke said. "Importantly, it means these starfish have also been prevented from entering the next spawning season."

This project cost $1.43 million dollars and was started last year as a tactic to combat the crown-of-thorns starfish invasion. At almost $24 per starfish, that may seem rather expensive, but when tourism and other factors are added in, the cost is a small price to pay to help save the reef from destruction.

(via Sunshine Coast Daily)

Author: Shane Graber
Location: Indiana

Shane has kept saltwater tanks for the last 12 years, is a research scientist, lives in northern Indiana, and is a proud Advanced Aquarist staffer.


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