Saturday, July 07, 2007


Crown-of-Thorn starfish (Acanthaster planci) is coral eating echinoderm. This starfish is widely distributed around the coral reef region ranging from Red Sea, throughout the Indian and Pacific oceans. Spines of Crown-of-Thorn starfish (COTS) are long and poisonous , when accidentally touched or stepped by human can cause painful sting, swell, nausea and vomiting. Crowns-of-Torn starfish (COTS) outbreaks is a large number of starfish population presence in the small area of coral reef. COTS outbreak being recorded occurs in Red Sea, Great Barrier Reef, Maldives, Indonesia and Fiji island.
Couple months ago, Divemaster being observed the presence of quite number of COTS in the shallow site of a few diving site in Mabul area. Its was no so severe outbreak , but its can be the early stage of the outbreak. Incipient outbreak means high densities of juveniles are found which likely to survive and reach maturity. Causes of COTS outbreak is linked to overfishing of thier natural predators such as Giant triton, Emperors, triggers, snapper and puffer. Besides, also related to the high nutrient contain in the water column cause by humans activities which provide high density of food for the COTS larvae.
Dive team have come out with a collecting COTS project around the affected dive site to save the beautiful table coral from being eaten by COTS. Total COTS being collected from the dive sites about 80 individual. Average size of the COTS is about 10cm in diameter. The collected COTS were burried in the beach area.

Heroes come and save the world!

Cage for collect COTS underwater.

COTS feeding on table coral with part of the coral
already being eaten (white area).

Dying table cora...............

COTS hiding underneath the coral,
usually come out feeding on the night time.

Another table coral being eaten by COTS.

Table coral already died and algae growth on it.

Jay pick up the COTS using stick - becareful, dont get sting !

Put COTS in the cage underwater.

Cage carry man....

Fish: why my house change color and died...?

Bleach out table coral.

3 color table coral : live color, bleach color and algae growth color.

Collected Crown-of-Thorn Seastar (Acanthaster planci)

Boatman help to removed COTS carefully from cage.


Asther said...

Bravo bravo!

Samantha said...

Keep it up, dudes and dudettes!!! You my heroes!!!!p

ex-DM Lee said...

Yeah!! Keep up the good works guys in keeping the coral reefs and the fish healthy and continue posting such kind of information to be shared by all !! Miss you guys!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks guys for supporting us ! Miss you guys too!!
hope divers will keep on eye on the reef, if see any outbreaks of COTS in any dive site, pls report to conservation organization or dive centre.

Dive team

Allister Lee said...

YES WE DID IT! (Alan's style)

Keep it up heroes!