Recently there has been a serious problem in the pacific ocean concerning the .
dissapearance of various coral reefs around the globe, including the Great Barrier Reef. .
The destruction of the complex ecosystems known as coral reefs is linked to the .
overpopulation of A. Planci, commonly known as crown of thorns starfish.
Once considered rare, A. Planci is overpopulating and consuming the worlds coral .
reefs at an astounding rate. Scientists have many hypothesis as to why this once "rare" .
starfish has appeared in massive numbers around our oceans most complex ecosystems. .
Several questions are asked by many scientists about this dilemma. "Is this plague of .
starfish really so bad-and so unprecedented-as it seems?" second, "Has the plague .
somehow been caused by human actions?" and third "if the plague has not been caused .
by humankid should anything be done to rescue those glorious coral reefs? Or should .
we let unsentimental nature, and the crown of thorns starfish have their way?".
It started in 1962 when scientists noticed that there was an increasing number of .
starfish eating the coral off of an Australian tourist island. Green Island had long been a .
tourist attraction for its vast coral structures and which were suddenly being eaten alive .
by this mass infestation of menacing 2 foot spike bearing starfish. Divers were hired and .
the starfish were killed. Things went back to normal and the incident was forgotten. .
Robert Endean, an Austrailian a Biologist dove the coral Green Island in 1979, when .
concerns of re-infestation arose, and found that 60% of the coral were killed and that the .
starfish were at a population of about 350,000 and were ready to kill. They were not only .
eating the plate-coral and branching-coral species, but were also killing the great massive .
brain-coral colonies, which are hundreds of years old. Once again divers were brought in .
and the starfish were exterminated; At least off Green Island.