Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Monitoring
Over the past few years the residents and fishermen of Jambiani have been witnesses to a massive decline in the fish and coral population. The lagoon and the adjoining reef are the primary source of income for many fishermen. Regular fishing outside the reef is practically impossible, as the types of boats necessary for such fishing are not available.
During phase 1, which took place in August 2009, a first census of the crown-of-thorns starfish population was undertaken and members of the local NGO JAMABECO were instructed in sustainable monitoring in cooperation with Buccaneer Diving in Paje and other local diving organisations.
In the second phase, in January 2010 Ana & Nacho, two spanis volunteers, continued the countings and did some sampling in the lagoon. Please find more information about the method, the results and see the wonderful pics they shot. >> Visit our COTS gallery.
Crown-of-thorns starfish plagues were observed on the west coast of Zanzibar in 2004. Together with coral bleaching and pollution of the ocean these outbreaks belong to the main hazards for tropical coral reef waters.
Currently, the causes for regular occurrence of these plagues are not completely resolved. But overfishing of reef fish and collection of natural enemies of the crown-of-thorns starfish, such as Triton’s trumpets and octopuses, belong to the main causes.
>> Crown-of-thorns starfish Wikipedia
>> Controlling crown-of-thorns starfish CRC Manual
>> Status of Coral Reefs in East Africa 2004, GCRNM (PDF, 656kb)