Mr Ian Miller

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The crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) (Acanthaster planci) feeds almost exclusively on hard corals and is endemic to coral reef ecosystems throughout the Indo-Pacific (Birkeland 1990). These large starfish are covered in sharp toxic spines and once grown have few natural predators. Over their lifetime they can produce 100’s of millions of eggs that have the highest fertilisation rate recorded for any spawning marine species. The pelagic larvae produced from spawning can float in the water column for weeks before settlement and can easily travel large distances between reefs.