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Starfish species causing havoc in Samal

By Yas D. Ocampo

DAVAO CITY – Researchers at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said they are studying the sporadic appearance of the Crown of Thorns Starfish in nearby Talicud Island in Samal warning it could endanger tourism industry therein.

The starfish, scientific name Acanthaster planci, is a venomous variety of starfish that causes stinging pain to those who come into contact with it.

It also eats corals, which could take years to rehabilitate.

Among remedies suggested by researchers is the application of vinegar to kill the naturally occurring species.

DENR divers said the presence of the coral-eating starfish in the area indicates a disturbance in the food chain or other environmental factors.

Gil V. Bigcas, Development Management Officer, at the DENR regional office, said the office is also studying the prevalence of the species in other parts of the coast.