"Crown of Thorns Starfish" Independant State of Samoa Warnings Or Dangers Tip by worldkiwi

  Crown of Thorns starfish are a pest - kill
by worldkiwi

These little horrors are plaguing the reefs and beaches of the south coast of U'polu since the 2009 tsunami disaster. They are (fortunately) bright red and easy to spot when you're swimming. I was staying at Litia Sini Beach Resort in Lalomanu and they supplied a pole with a nail on the end to spear the little cretins. They destroy the reef and can ruin your day if you stand on them. So, like the cute little possum in NZ, they're a pest locals want to be rid of. If you see them, mark their position and don't tread on them. Better still, spear the suckers and deposit them somewhere they can't get back in the water (or trodden on by someone). Believe it or not, if they get into the water, they regenerate! That's what makes them the eco-baddies of Samoa. Where I was staying we had a rock we piled them on when we went hunting and in the evening, they were buried up the hill to become ant food (they can't regenerate after the ants eat them!).
Don't let this put you off swimming at Lalomanu. They're not covering the beach or anything, though one day we did spear five in the space of a hundred metres or so.

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  • Updated Oct 22, 2011
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