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Action Plan


Scout reefs in danger zones for COTS congregations as they ready to breed.


Disrupt congregation at least, destroy starfish if possible.


Imperative to start breeding Tritons and other starfish predators.


Lobby education departments to promote ocean awareness programs.

Measures to control the (COTS) plagues on selected reefs should have been adopted in 1969 when a report which I prepared for the Queensland Government outlined the seriousness of the position for the first time.
- Professor Robert Endean M.Sc., Ph.D (1972)

According to Jan Sapp, historian of science and, author of the illuminating book on crown of thorns starfish outbreaks, "What Is Natural? Coral Reef Crisis", the COTS problem was the FIRST CONTINUOUS GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS.

Besides natural attrition caused by storms and hurricanes, the Great Barrier Reef is under siege by a fourth plague of coral eating crown of thorns starfish which have been eating the Great Barrier Reef alive for the last sixty years. Please help alleviate this problem by supporting the "Save The Triton" campaign proposed by OCEANGUARD SOCIETY.

We cannot stop the starfish spawning early. However, we can disrupt it... giving us precious time to work on a better solution such as collaborating with marine authorities in breeding the natural predators of this deadly starfish. 


The genesis of this plan was formed sixty years ago by Oceanguard’s co-founder, Dr Robert Endean. 

Watch this video >>>
National Geographic Eco Promo Video 2000 video by Danny Vandine

The Long Term Plan

1. Monitoring

The plan includes for the Great Barrier Reef region to be divided into four working zones. Then on a year round basis, a charter diving boat or boats will sweep reefs in each zone, where dive teams and volunteers will assist marine scientists monitor reefs for starfish populations and their fish predator numbers. Data will also be collected on the state of the coral on each reef. OCEANGUARD will maintain a computer model from collected data which will be made available to marine institutes.

2. Control

As starfish populations increase on reefs being monitored and the coral threatened with destruction, a plan to control these numbers will be launched utilising teams of volunteer divers. The control method will be by injection of an environmentally safe formula. Overall operation will be under supervision of qualified dive masters all in cooperation with marine authorities.

3. Farming

The plan is to set up facilities to farm all natural starfish predators. Then under scientific supervision to reintroduce them back onto selected reefs. A feature of this farming program will be an attempt to cultivate Charonia, the giant triton, shown above. The most prolific of the starfish predators – hopefully before it becomes extinct on the Great Barrier Reef because of decades of over-collecting.

4. Education

The plan includes a series of marine awareness programs to be made for transmission via all media platforms. The emphasis will be on good ocean management – targeting concerned youth. Awareness programs will be distributed throughout the school system and travelling seminars are also envisaged. Education is the first step in preserving our greatest heritage – coral reefs and oceans.


Not to trivialise recent very serious bleaching events on the Reef, there is no quick fix to rising sea temperatures. Coral bleaching leaves less coral for the out of control starfish to eat, setting a scenario for the perfect storm. The goal of the plan is to disrupt the breeding of millions more COTS on the reef.

We must succeed in the battle against the threat of millions more crown of thorns starfish destroying the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem – which is already besieged by this current outbreak of COTS.
Lethal injection into Crown of Thorns Starfish
Video courtesy of AMPTO Org
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