A recent infestation of the poisonous crown-of-thorn starfish (COTS) in Culasi, Antique has pushed the city officials to declare state of calamity.

In a report by GMA 7 news program 24 Oras Weekend, divers found that the population of crown-of-thorn starfish has been growing to the extent that it already feed on and destroy the coral reefs in two of the town’s island-barangays.

Oceana.org explains that this type of starfish is a sea star that is well-known as a coral predator. Experts said outbreaks of such starfish might be a result of overfishing and a result of interruption of the food chain.

Volunteer divers have helped in removing some of the starfish to prevent any further destruction.

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