This morning the last thing he wanted to see was one of these – a crown of thorn starfish. This Greenbanger is guilty of hunting quite a few of them down and killing them on the Great Barrier Reef, back in his diving days.
That was because the Queenstown government paid him. They are very worried about a sudden rise in numbers of these starfish that eat coral reefs at a very fast rate.
Some scientists put this down to fertilizer chemicals ending up in the sea, but no one is really sure.
They’re also very nasty to get stung by – you can see the thorns. If you take a skin puncture from one if those, you’ll know about it. Take three and it could be goodnight sweetheart.
They can grow to about two feet wide and are the ugliest things ever. There’s an article all about the rise of the crown of thorns on Treehugger.com.
Greenbang has been thinking about this – as when he was sent out to kill these things, he didn’t really question it. Although these starfish are ugly mothers and eat all the coral so the divers can’t look at it – coral reefs are never in a state of completion. They are always growing and being attacked by something. So do we have the right to interfere with that ecosystem? Or should we just let it go?
Well, hungover and feeling rotten today, Greenbang is wondering – all those COTs he killed – was that right?