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The Marine National ParkHeadquarters(MNPH), the Penghu Marine Biology Research Center, FisheriesResearch Institute, the Penghu CountyAgriculture and Fisheries Bureau and the Penghu National Scenic AreaAdministration, between 2014 June 23rd and 24th,conducted an overall inspection on the coral reefs and removed crown-of-thornsstarfish at the Yuping and Xiji maritime waters of the South Penghu Marine National Park. The study result from 8 test lines shows that the coral coverage is 62% on average, and in the Dongyuping waters, the coral reef coverage is as high as 75%. The coral reef coverage also increased from 46% in2013 to 65% in 2014, showing that the coral reefs ecology in the waters offsouth-east Xiji island are recovering.
The MNPH indicated that last year (2013) a total of 181 mature (specimens larger than 35cm) crown-of-thorns starfish were removed from the coral reef waters south-east of Xiji island. This year in the same maritime waters no crown-of-thorns starfish were found, also no feeding signs on the coral reef are observed. At the same time many new-born corals were found and the coral coverage also increased from last year’s 46% to this year’s 65%, showing that the coral reefs ecology in the waters off south-east Xiji island are recovering.
The Xiji island has been carried out for four consecutive years, and past years’ removal quantity increased annually from 100pcs in 2011 to 181pcs in 2013. The 2013 eradication event was chosen to be carried out during the eve of the crown-of-thorns starfish breeding season. In 2014 no crown-of-thorns starfish were found in the same maritime waters, and the actual reason is still being tracked. However, the fact that the local coral reefs are showing signs of recovery and the maritime ecology appears to be healthier, is still a gratifying result.

2014 Penghu Southern Four Island reef check and crown-of-thorns starfish removal
2014 Penghu Southern Four Island reef check and crown-of-thorns starfish removal

This time the only single crown-of-thorns starfish recorded at the Xiyuping Perciformes casually swimming over coral reef

This time the only single crown-of-thorns
starfish recorded at the Xiyuping

Perciformes casually swimming
over coral reef

New-born corals recorded at the Xiji showing that Xiji maritime ecology is recovering Trumpet Triton found at Dongyuping, a natural predator of thecrown-of-thorns starfish

New-born corals recorded at the Xiji showing
that Xiji maritime ecology is recovering

Trumpet Triton found at Dongyuping,
a natural predator of thecrown-of-thorns starfish

 

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