Keeping coral-eating starfish in check

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 30 Jul 2020

KOTA KINABALU: Efforts are ongoing to destroy the Crown of Thorns (COTS) starfish in Sabah’s east coast waters stretching from Kunak to Lahad Datu.

Sabah Fisheries Department director Dr Ahemad Sade said his department was trying to ensure that the starfish did not destroy healthy corals in the area.

He said the move was necessary as it could pose a danger to the marine ecosystem if left unchecked.

He said some 350 COTS from the seabed off Kunak and Lahad Datu were destroyed earlier this week.

The COTS initiative was undertaken by the state Fisheries Department to protect marine life in the waters of Pulau Silumpat, Tabawan and Blue Hole, he said.

Ahemad said the Fisheries Department was constantly monitoring the situation in Sabah waters.

He said culling the coral-eating starfish with injection was the most effective method to control its outbreaks.

Semporna Fisheries Department officer Mohammad Rizal Socradji said the exercise would benefit fishermen with healthy coral life as well as make the area an attraction for tourists.

He hoped the programme would also create greater public awareness on the importance of marine ecosystem conservation efforts.

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