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More Funding Needed to Eradicate Crown-of-Thorns Starfish on GBR
By Ian Seldrup, December 29, 2015 @ 05:45 AM (EST)
Source: ABC (Australia)

One of the most serious threats to the corals of the Great Barrier Reef, the crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS), has been gradually diminished due to the efforts of Australia’s Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO). An estimated 400,000 of the starfish have been removed over the past three years, but it is thought that as many as 11 million remain along Queensland's east coast, and more funding is desperately needed.

AMPTO’s eradication program trains disadvantaged young people to become divers, carrying out “search and destroy” missions to take out the COTS—one at a time. While the program seems to be working in the targeted areas, there is only sufficient funding to remove COTS from the main tourist sites in far north Queensland—Cairns and Port Douglas—and the World Wildlife Fund has warned that the numbers could skyrocket to 60 million over the next five years if more is not done.

Read more here.



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