After the cleanup dive in Redang in 2010 for the annual Project Aware which is more focused on removing the Crown of Thorns, I began to read more about it.
One, Crown of Thorns also known as COTs appears naturally as part of an ecosystem balances the whole life cycle. Their diet consists of coral polyps.
Two, the known cause of the COT population explosion is never known exactly. Some attributes it to global warming, over harvesting of Triton seashells or maybe agriculture chemical leaching into the sea providing an alternative food source.
Three, COTs are not sea urchins and not black as what I believed earlier.
Four, chemicals from the sunblock that we usually use contains paraben that is harmful for marine life. Get a sunblock made from organic ingredients for sea activities.One that I found out is called Badger and is available in Singapore. Another place to get Badger products is from an organic shop in Centerpoint, Bandar Utama but they only stock certain products from Badger and not sunscreen.
Five, if you get stabbed by one of the sharp spines of COTs, your hand will swell like an elephant for days and it will hurt badly!
Six, when removing COTs from the corals, lightly pull them out slowly and not forcefully. Remove them bit by bit. Breaking the COTs will cause them to spawn in defense and it will release it eggs thus, creating even more COTs!
Seven, to spot a COT is to look out for white patches of dead corals. Why these white spots? Well those are the places that the COT have already fed on. So they are somewhere nearby.