Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Starfish outbreak destroying coral reefs in Asia

Nature can be so ghastly at times, especially when humans help. Reuters has a story about a crown of thorns starfish outbreak in Asia's Coral Triangle, and what this portends for the overall health of reefs in the area. Overfishing leaves the nasty echinoderms without predators to dine on them. And nutrient run-off from onshore agriculture pumps coastal areas with extra nitrogen, which apparently is worse than putting the starfish on steroids.
Photo of crown of thorns starfish by Alistair Watters

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