BBC on Crown of Thorns Great Barrier


The Australian Institute of Marine Science says the reef has lost half its coral cover in the past 30 years; and that has a lot to do with the Crown of Thorns Starfish invasion.

A certain number of the starfish are essential to the future of the reef. They eat the faster growing corals so that slower corals have a chance to grow.

But if there too many of these starfish, they could destroy huge areas of coral, so the Australian Government has come up with a plan to control the population.

Reef Life is creating an attractant substrate with the goal of luring predators like crown of thorns AWAY from live coral reefs so the starfish quit sucking the life from coral. What's being done? Currently the process is slow- that is why our scientists are working on a reef they cannot harm.

Divers are being sent to the reef to get rid of tens of thousands of starfish by injecting them with a chemical that causes them to break up after around 24 hours.

The government say it's not harmful to other marine plants and animals and that by getting rid of some starfish the coral should start to grow again.

There are also measures to try and control pollution from the land entering the sea, especially in the water around the reef.

That's because the Crown of Thorns starfish young feed on certain types of pollution in the water.

But critics of the culling programme say more should be done to stop the pollution getting into the water in the first place. Please see BBC story Below for more information

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/36469524


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