Removal and/or injection of Crown of Thorns (COTs) starfish in reefs throughout Malampaya Foundation Inc’s (MFIs) conservation sites in north Palawan, Oriental Mindoro and Batangas City have been continuous due to observed COTs outbreak in many reefs.
COTs collection and/or injection are being undertaken in close cooperation with communities, local governments, resorts, dive shops and other organizations in the areas. Recent detailed studies have shown that 20 adult COTs starfish (Acanthaster planci) are said to be capable of destroying 1 square meter of corals per day by feeding on coral polyps. More than 3,800 COTs have been collected or injected at the sites thus far in 2022.
COTs outbreak have become common especially since its predators, such as the triton shell, parrotfishes, wrasse, triggerfish, pufferfish, and acanthurids have been prevalently fished out from Philippine reefs in the recent decades due to illegal and unsustainable fishing practices.