Australia: vinegar against invasive starfish

by spotmydive

Vinegar may save the Great Barrier Reef of Australia whose corals are threatened byt bleaching. This barrier, listed on Unesco World Heritage, is with its 345 000 km2, the biggest coral reef in the world.

» ALSO READ – Coral bleaching, what you need to know.

Acanthaster, invasive species

This carnivorous species lives mainly in tropical coral ecosystems. The Acanthaster planci, also called crown of thorns, is a starfish that has the unfortunate habit to devour coral. Its imposing dimensions, its colorful hues and its poisonous spines make it a species dreaded by many species including human since its venom causes necrosis of the flesh. This massive star fish is also considered in some areas as an invasive species with a high potential of destruction. Some eradication campaigns have been carried out in parts of the world, such as Japan and Australia, but are still difficult in terms of the scale of the task. Indeed, females can lay up to 10 millions eggs per season that are disseminated by the current over hundreds of km2.

Vinegar, a miracle cure

Nicknamed “crown of thorns” this species would not resist an injection of vinegar, it would be killed in 48 hours! Moreover, vinegar would be safe for other coral reef organisms! This has been proven by tests conducted for more than 6 weeks by researchers. But hey it is not won! Each female lays about 65 million eggs each year, and to kill an individual, it is necessary to sting it individually, no idea if this campaign will succeed but for sure it will take time.