Assessment on the infestation of Acanthaser planci or the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (COTS) were conducted by the Local Government Unit of Calatagan together with Calatagan COTS Task Force, Banatay Dagatmembers, and resident volunteers from the Municipality with the technical assistance of the DENR CENRO Calaca.
COTS are a kind of starfish with size ranging from 30 to 40 cm with thorn-like venomous spines and mainly feed on hard corals.
Three (3) coastal Barangays were monitored by the team namely: Poblacion 4, Sta Ana and Tanagan. The assessment conducted shows minimal presence of COTS scattered in coastal areas of Brgy. Poblacion 4 and Tanagan, while severe infestation of COTS was observed in Brgy. Sta Ana, Calatagan, which resulted in the mortality of a large number of corals.
Based on the result of assessment, the team recommended the removal/extraction of COTS in the said barangays as soon as possible, to prevent the continuous infestation that may cause increasing mortality of corals.
The office of the DENR CENRO Calaca continuously provides technical assistance for the proper implementation of coastal and marine ecosystem management programs to achieve effective management of the country’s coastal and marine ecosystems for the improvement of the quality of life of the coastal population. ###