• Short Summary


    The crown-of thorns starfish has been threatening the fishing industry in Oman.

  • Description

    1. GV Diver over side of boat and into water. (2 SHOTS) 0.12
    2. GVs UNDERWATER Coral reef,fish and crustaceans. (3 SHOTS) 0.26
    3. GV & CU Starfish and sea urchins. (3 SHOTS) 0.44
    4. GV Boat on surface and diver emerging with starfish in bucket. (2 SHOTS) 0.55
    5. GV Men carrying starfish ashore. 1.05
    6. SVs Dr. Peter Glynn speaking of starfish and showing coral damaged by starfish. (7 SHOTS) (SOT) 1.46
    7. GVs UNDERWATER Starfish (with Dr. Glynn's voice over). (2 SHOTS) (SOT) 1.57
    8. SVs Starfish in bucket. (2 SHOTS) (Dr. Glynn's voice over) (SOT) 2.06
    TRANSCRIPT: GLYNN (SEQ 6, 7 & 8): "This is the 'crown-of-thorns' starfish. It feeds on live corals, and we also have a few coral specimens, some of which were eaten by the seastar, and some which are in a normal, natural condition. This is a piece of the same species of coral and you can see this is a healthy, golden-brown colour, as opposed to the eaten piece, which is bleached out and white. The golden-brown is due to the pigments of the coral in combination with algae that lives symbiotically in the tissues of the coral - so this is very much like a plant. There are something like forty to fifty individual starfish per hectare - per ten thousand square metres - one individual starfish can eat five or six times this amount of coral for example in one day, so that will give you an idea of how much actual coral it can kill."

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: COASTAL WATERS, OMAN

    The crown-of thorns starfish has been threatening the fishing industry in Oman. The species was first sighted underwater in 1978, and investigations since have shown them to be a real danger to coral reefs. The starfish which are fairly large, have a black body with purple markings - and are covered in highly poisonous spikes. The threat comes from its diet, starfish live off the coral which eventually crumbles - and leaves the fish in the water without their natural habitat. Experts from the Smithsonian Institute in the United States have been heading an investigation into the problem, with the backing of the Omani-American Joint Commission. Leading the research is Dr. Peter Glynn, who says nobody knows how long starfish have been in the water. part of their project involves finding out if other fish can eat the poisonous crown-of-thorns, but Dr. Glynn says the fish would need a strong stomach - the starfish is full of poisons and toxins.


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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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