CROWN OF THORNS STARFISH HAVE BEEN SIGHTED!
We’ve received multiple reports of Crown of Thorns Starfish, also known as COTS. The Guam Reef Response Team, a group of local and federal agencies that respond to acute reef impacts, has verified that they have reached outbreak levels at a number of sites. The team has developed a COTS response plan and is preparing to test new control methods to address these voracious coral predators.
You can help, by filling out a quick report here anytime you see more than 2 COTS in a thirty minute dive. Please include the location (GPS if you have it), depth, how many COTS you saw and approximate size. All reports go directly to the response team to help them track the outbreak.
Please remember that these starfish will spawn (make babies) if they are harmed or become stressed. DO NOT STAB OR CUT COTS! Stabbing or cutting them will just make the problem worse. The best thing you can do if you see COTS on the reef is to report them. Photos are helpful, but remember these starfish have a powerful toxin on their spines, so keep your distance if you see them! Still have questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHECK BACK SOON for OUR SPRING Training SCHEDULE
Class Training Sessions: Learn how to report reef impacts, such as coral bleaching, coral abnormalities, algal blooms, and other reef impacts to our local reef managers online. A great way to take action to help protect our island’s coral reefs!
Field Training Sessions: Join us in the field to learn how to spot coral bleaching and other impacts that you can report online. We’ll have marine biologists lead a snorkel tour and point out coral bleaching, coral disease, and other impacts so participants can recognize and report them! Whether you’re out snorkeling, paddling, diving, or even fishing, your report can make a difference! Online reports can help local reef managers track coral bleaching and prioritize management actions to protect our coral reefs. All participants must sign a liability release form. If age 13 and under, participant must be accompanied by a trusted adult and have their liability release form signed by their parent. Liability release forms will be available on site at field sessions.
Directions to NOAA_Fisheries_Guam_Field_Office (pdf)
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