Well, this weekend I’ll be going back to Tioman. This time I’ll be bringing my daughters along, as I have promised them earlier. The best thing is my partner-in-crime Kimi will be joining us, after being bombarded with smoothies and sweeties (not of the feline kind).
Me, I’m just looking forward to doing more dives before ending up in the office again next week.
I know that removing the Crown-of-Thorns is meddling with the balance of nature, but something has to be done to save the coral reefs as man have created the unblaance by collecting the shells of the COT’s natural enemy: the Triton Trumpet (Charonia tritonis).
If I may quote from The Dive Gallery, the following:
The infamous crown-of-thorns starfish grows to over a foot across and has 10-20 arms. It is well known for its voracious appetite for live hard-corals. At various times it has been blamed for the killing of large portions of reefs in parts of the Pacific ocean, including a large portion of the great barrier reef of Australia during the 1960’s. It is so despised that many scuba clubs organize “starfish hunts” in which these starfish are rounded up in an effort to save reefs from destruction. These starfish should be handled carefully, since the long, sharp spines are mildly venomous and can inflict painful wounds (slow to heal, too, as I can attest!).
One explanation for local population explosions of these destructive starfish is the collection of this starfish’s natural enemy, the Triton Trumpet (Charonia tritonis). For this reason trumpet shellfish (if alive) should never be collected by divers and are often protected by law, because of their importance to reef ecology.