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Oct 2, 2012

The beast killing the Great Barrier Reef

It might look pretty, but the crown-of-thorns starfish is one of the main reasons the Great Barrier Reef is in serious trouble. Half the reef's coral has been

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It might look pretty, but the crown-of-thorns starfish is one of the main reasons the Great Barrier Reef is in serious trouble. Half the reef’s coral has been killed off in the last few decades, due to this beastie, plus storm damage and coral bleaching caused by global warming. Scientists at the Australian Institute of Marine Science took this footage as part of their monitoring of the reef. If you come across one of these on your next snorkelling holiday, do your worst.

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3 comments

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3 thoughts on “The beast killing the Great Barrier Reef

  1. Jason Ives

    “Do your worst” – is that such a good idea? I remember being told by a tour guide up there that CoT starfish regenerate when harmed, and if broken into pieces both can regenerate into new creatures. Therefore trying to attack them can promote their spread, so the advice to “do your worst” may be counter productive. Can someone confirm whether that is the case? My recollection could be wrong.

  2. Alex Schlotzer

    Um no people shouldn’t do their worst and this is part of the problem. People fishing would cut the starfish up which did nothing to reduce the numbers as they’re able to regrow arms. So please please don’t do your worst.

    If you have to do anything, just remove the starfish from the water. It won’t be long before it dries up and dies.

  3. gargravar

    Note that the divers were all wearing gloves?
    The COT starfish has very nasty needles in the tips of its protuberances. Not easy to see but you’d know all about it if they were touched. I certainly wish someone would do their worst to this infestation but it is best left to the professionals!

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