Linapacan, Palawan — Non-government organizations, coastal communities, dive tour and expedition operators, resort owners, local goverments and private individuals with common concern and love for the ocean came together to volunteer time and contribute resources with Malampaya Foundation Inc. (MFI) to combat Crown-of-thorns (COTs) infestation in the reefs of Linapacan, Palawan.

From January to March 2019, nearly 12,000 COTs were collected and injected with saline solution to prevent further damage on the corals within the marine protected areas (MPAs) of barangays San Miguel and Pical, areas popular with divers, expeditionists and tourists alike for magnificent reefs and pristine white-sand-beach-lined islands and islets.

Joining forces with MFI were Haribon Foundation, Ariara Resort, Aquanaut Dive Center, El Nido Divers Association, Buhay Isla Expedition, Wolfgang Renner, municipal government of Linapacan, barangay LGUs of Pical and San Miguel, volunteer eco-divers and local people’s organization.

COTs (Acanthaster planci) is a spiny starfish that feeds on hard coral polyps and is capable of causing the demise of reefs at a rate of one one (1) square meter per day. Outbreaks globally is a result of the disappearance due to over-extraction of its primary predator the giant triton (Charonia tritonis).