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DTI: Starfish may threaten ecotourism in Southern Leyte

February 17, 2012 9:17am

Crown-of-thorns starfish may pose a threat to the eco-tourism in Southern Leyte, the Department of Trade and Industry in the province said.

DTI provincial director Michael Nuñez cited reports reaching his office on the fast growth of the starfish especialy in Padre Burgos town, according to a report on the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) news site.

The PIA quoted Nuñez as saying some 30,000 crown-of-thorns starfish were found along the shorelines of Padre Burgos. He added crown-of-thorns starfish have also been spotted at the Pana-on Island.

He said the creatures may already be damaging the corals in Padre Burgos, at a distance of 500 meters from the shoreline.

Crown-of-thorns starfish feed on coral polyps, releasing digestive enzymes to break down the tissue and absorbing the nutrients.

The PIA noted the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Regional Office has allocated P3 million for a coral reef restoration project in the province. — LBG, GMA News
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