Researchers Think Vinegar Can Help Save the Great Barrier Reef

Researchers Think Vinegar Can Help Save the Great Barrier ReefScientists in Australia think they may have discovered a quick and easy solution to a problem that has been destroying the Great Barrier Reef.

Coral-eating starfish crown-of-thorns have been nimbling away at the Reef, wreaking havoc on the ecosystem. Researchers, however, have discovered that the menacing starfish can be killed with an injection of everyday vinegar.

The coral-eating fish have become an increasingly worrying problem over the past few years, as their numbers have multiplied and the Reef has rapidly diminished. Researchers say that vinegar solution has achieved a 100% kill rate when administered to the crown-of-thorns. But scientists are holding off on implementing it until they can be sure that other sea life will not be harmed.

Scientists also have to inject the starfish one-by-one with the vinegar, which is a highly inefficient process, considering the sea stars’ numbers.

“It has been estimated there are between four and 12 million of the starfish on the Great Barrier Reef alone and each female produces about 65 million eggs in a single breeding season. “They managed to kill around 350,000 last year with two full-time boat crews. While it would take an insane effort to cull them all that way, we know that sustained efforts can save individual reefs.”

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