Worker injects a crown of thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci)

30 May 2016


WWF-Australia has welcomed today’s commitment from the Liberal Party to invest $6 million for an additional control vessel to tackle crown-of-thorns starfish on the Great Barrier Reef.

WWF spokesperson Nick Heath said the boat was a worthy initiative for treating localised symptoms of crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks, and called on the Government to now reveal their full package to treat the causes of Reef decline.

“Injecting crown-of-thorns starfish helps address the problem in some important tourism spots, but what we really need is a Reef-wide solution."

“With an outbreak now underway it’s estimated starfish numbers could reach 60 million over the next five years becoming the biggest outbreak on record."

“Only by tackling the fertiliser pollution that fuels outbreaks will crown of thorns starfish be controlled."

“Australians love the Reef and its amazing wildlife,” Mr Heath said. 

“If we don’t act to protect our Reef, the $6 billion it generates that the 70,000 jobs it sustains each year is at grave risk."

“The Great Barrier Reef needs clean water to survive, but chemical run-off from farms along the coast is polluting the Reef’s waters."

“Stopping farm pollution would make corals healthier, restore clear water to the Reef and prevent crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks."

“We welcome Minister Hunt’s announcement today, and we hope this is a pre-cursor to a much bigger election policy package for the Reef."

“We urge the Minister back up today’s announcement with a full package of Reef protection measures including a multi-billion dollar fund for better farm management and catchment repair to stop Reef pollution, and laws to stop farm pollution flowing into Reef waters.”

WWF-Australia media contact: Daniel Rockett, National Media Manager, 0432 206 592,