/// CROWN OF THORNS MASS CLEAN-UP

06 Jul / 2014
Author: Sandy Tags: There is no tags Comments: 9

SHARE THIS POST:

Crown of Thorns Clean-upThis week in Bunaken… Two Fish Divers local dive guides have been super busy this week in a crown of thorns mass clean-up from the beautiful coral reefs in Bunaken National Park. Within one week we managed to collect 155 crown of thorns from three different dive and snorkel locations. By removing these destructive starfish species from the coral reefs we are ensuring the reefs stay alive and healthy.

You might ask why are we taking a living species off the reef? In fact, the crown of thorns (COT) starfish can eat up to 10 square meters of reef within a year. When their numbers are low there is no problem with them eating this much of the coral reef. However, if there is a massive bloom of their species a huge amount of damage can occur to the coral within a very short timeframe. The crown of thorns starfish has a natural predator which is the triton trumpet conch shell, but as tourism has developed in coastal areas these conch shells are removed from the ocean to sell as souvenirs. Now, we need to intervene to reduce the number of COTs.

Our guides and guests have noticed that within the last few months more of the crown of thorns have been appearing at some of our dive sites, so as an active Project Aware dive centre, we’ve responded by having a crown of thorn mass clean-up almost every day of this week. We have visited the dive sites of Tanjung, Lekuan II and Bunaken Timur I to Muka and have removed 44 COTs, 87 COTs and 24 Cots respectively from these sites. In total that’s 155 COTs taken off the coral reef here which means we’ve saved approximately 1,550 square meters of reef!

How do we remove them and what do we do with them you might be asking yourself? Using the local bamboo as thongs (think of a large pair of chopsticks) we pick them up and toss them into a crate. We bring them back to land where we count them and then take them up the hill behind the resort and bury them in the ground. It’s important to remove them completely from the water as studies have shown that cutting them in half actually creates 2 COTs instead of 1 and both will continue to survive.

If you would like to know more about how you can help save our reefs by participating in one of our Project Aware initiatives don’t be shy to ask us during your visit! We’re more than happy to get your help with keeping our underwater world gorgeous and healthy for the future!

Contact Two Fish Divers
Like out blog? Click to share with a friend!



/// 9 Comments:

  • Ip Pi

    Ip Pi 07 Jul 2014

    Did not know they were becoming a threat in Bunaken… What causes them to thrive?


  • Zara Cowan

    Zara Cowan 07 Jul 2014

    What sort of size are the starfish that you’re finding? Would be interested to know as my thesis is on crown-of-thorns :)



  • Katrina Johnson

    Katrina Johnson 07 Jul 2014

    Well done team!


  • Two Fish Divers

    Two Fish Divers 07 Jul 2014

    Hi Zara Cowan, I’d reckon that most of them were between 8 to 10 inches across in diameter, but we didn’t measure that exactly. We can take measurements for you next time, or better yet, why don’t you come back and try yourself ;)


  • Zara Cowan

    Zara Cowan 07 Jul 2014

    Thanks, don’t supposed you’ve noticed even smaller juveniles have you? I would absolutely love to come back and this could be a perfect excuse! ;)


  • Two Fish Divers

    Two Fish Divers 07 Jul 2014

    Maybe there were a few, but also I think the juveniles stay more hidden during the daytime as we didn’t find that many really small ones


  • Two Fish Divers

    Two Fish Divers 07 Jul 2014

    And yes it’s the perfect excuse for you to come back!


  • Zara Cowan

    Zara Cowan 07 Jul 2014

    Yeah the juveniles are rarely found which is part of the problem of controlling outbreaks and also makes the early life stages difficult to study. Would be great if I can write a trip to Bunaken into my research proposal..!


/// Leave a Reply


Copyright 2000-14 Two Fish Divers | Site by Lubiland