LAND AND PEOPLE Updated at 16:08:45 09/23/2020  (Views:  47 )

Voluntary scuba diving warriors to save the coral reefs on Phu Quy Island

BTO – In recent time, it is easily to find an increasing outbreak of horrific crown-of-thorns starfish, which is considered as an enemy animal due to its harmful action to the corals on Phu Quy Island. Such growth of enemy animals has threatened the gentle living coral along the beaches of Phu Quy Island (Binh Thuan province). Realizing such danger, recently, a “squadron of diving warriors" has gathered and held scuba diving voyages to take out those crown-of-thrown starfish from the coral reefs.


Diving to catch crown-of-thorn starfish

The scuba diving campaign in hunt for crown-of-thorns starfish was first launched by a group of 40 young volunteers on Phu Quy Island. All of them are simply local fishermen and tour guides. To catch the starfish at the bottom of the sea, the "squad" must dive and use iron tongs to pick them up. In addition to diving skills of avoiding stepping on the coral reefs, those volunteer divers have to be always on the alert against the poisonous thorns from the starfish.

Scuba diving to hunt for starfish.

The shape of a crown-of-thorn starfish

The crown-of-thorns starfish live in the ocean at a depth of 5-20 meters. The life cycle of this species is about 3 years and during that time, a crown-of-thorns starfish can eat up about 25 m2 of coral. This toxic organism eats corals by placing its stomach on the corals and secreting a digestive enzyme that liquefies the coral tissue. In just one night, each crown-of-thorns starfish eats up an amount of coral equal to its body diameter. This damage greatly affects to the marine ecosystem.

Shapes of Crown-of-thorn starfish

Many crown-of-thorn starfish have been collected 

With their own love for the islands, in just 1 day, the volunteers can collect about 3,000 crown-of-thorns starfishes and destroyed them. Thanks to the efforts of the volunteers, the donation of supplies, drinking water, canoes, and funds from individuals and units, the first campaign has successfully conducted.

Several crown-of-thorn starfish are caught by volunteer divers.

 This meaningful campaign will be maintained regularly and needed for a joint cooperation of many people in the next time.  It doesn't only protect the coral reefs but also ensures safety for visitors when swimming and diving to watch the coral.

Translated by Uyen Linh (Source: Binh Thuan Online)

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