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No Funds to Get Rid of Destructive Starfish

Date Posted: 2000-10-13

The Japanese government has this year halted funding for eliminating onihitode starfish, which destroy coral. The Fishery Association now has to get rid of the starfish on its own.

Looking after National Parks used to be the responsibility of the government. But increasing decentralization means less support for programs like the anti-starfish one.

The Fishery Association has warned of a dramatic increase in the starfish population. It is feeding on young coral which is recovering from destruction. Local government bodies say the prefecture should have a coral, protection plan but there is no budget to do it.

Kin Yoshiaki, head of Zamami Village Fishery Association says, “The starfish are multiplying dramatically, but it’s impossible to get rid of them all with our small number of volunteer divers.”

Okinawa prefecture is expected to come up with a plan to resolve the problem next year.

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