El Nido, Palawan— The local government of El Nido and barangay San Fernando mobilised fisher folks, divers, resort and restaurant owners, including non-profit organisations such as Malampaya Foundation, to help combat crown of thorns (COTs) infestation in the reefs of San Fernando and Teneguiban on August 10-11, 2017.

Collection was done manually by volunteer divers and fisher folks over two days which resulted in the removal of over 500 COTs.

COTs is a starfish that feeds on the polyp of hard corals, resulting in the demise of reefs if left to flourish. Among the largest starfishes in the world, it can grow to up to 14 inches in diameter and is capable of feeding on 0.6 to more than 2 square meters of corals per day.