Thursday, March 04, 2021

Army of starfish spotted feasting on coral off Phi Phi

Feb 05. 2021
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By THE NATION

The scourge of the sea – crown-of-thorns starfish – is reportedly scavenging coral off the coast of Krabi’s Phi Phi Island.

On Thursday, Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park officials found more than 30 crown-of-thorns starfish off Ko Po Da Nok Island, near Phi Phi.

This high number of starfish will prove to be a blight to the area, officials said.

The park’s chief, Prayoon Pongpan, said officials will speak to related experts on how this scourge can be eradicated to preserve a balance.

The crown-of-thorns is a large starfish, ranging in size from 25 to 30 centimetres with up to 21 arms, that climbs onto the coral to absorb nutrients, reducing the coral down to a skeleton.

Reports say these starfish damaged up to a kilometre of coral a month in Guam. This sort of destruction takes nearly 40 years to recover.

The best way of dealing with the crown-of-thorns starfish is to expose it to sunlight.

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