Saturday, September 1, 2007


Today this video I posted on Youtube hit 50,000 views!

It's nothing fancy and the number of views certainly does not say anything about it's entertainment value. The title on youtube is "Cruel Death" from many of the comments one could argue that most people are looking for something exciting to die - like a pit bull or a human and are disappointed when it's just a starfish. On the other hand many are hell bent that this species is a threat to mankind and should be stopped no matter what the cost.
"if that was a crown of thorns star fish then your a dumn shit--- they destroy reefs"
Still others believe strongly that it's just another tool in Mother Nature's arsenal to keep the balance! My original post on this blog is here.

This was a comment on the post left by Greg Moretti.

Thanks for posting this video and your comments. Regardless of where you stand on the COTS issue, it is illegal in the CNMI to kill starfish without a special permit that would allow you to do so. There are also biological implications of well-intentioned people who are not educated about the marine environment taking "control" measures into their own hands. Often times divers attempt to kill Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS) by methods such as cutting them into pieces or the method you show in your video. As Brad mentioned, there is a "prefered" method of control that involves injecting them with a poison. This is because research has shown that other methods simply do not work or actually make the problem worse. When radially symetrical invertebrates such as starfish are cut up into pieces, the pieces can each regenerate into new individuals. So people think they are killing one and they are actually making more. I have also read that when the starfish are stressed/threatened they may release their eggs into the water, making the issue even worse. I suppose one could argue that the COTS would have released eggs at some point regardless... but the point is that if you don't know what you're messing with, there may be unintended negative consequences. If you have concerns about COTS or want to start a discussion about control measures and their pros/cons, talk to the biologists at CRM, DEQ, or DFW. Specifically, John Starmer at CRM, Pete Houk at DEQ, or Mike Trianni at DFW. The CRM/DEQ guys are coral reef biologists, while DFW has management authority over the marine critters. I'd like to see these guys at some of our diver get-togethers!

What do you think?
I've started a new thread on the Marianasdive forum to poll the users about this issue. Should be an interesting debate.
Speaking of debates there are a few others raging over there on that new forum. If you're even remotely interested in the world of diving here this is a must for you to take a look at.
Joining is free!

1 comment:

Bruce A. Bateman said...

I expect you'll be hearing from Bree. (:-))