Sea snails could come to Reef rescue
A GIANT starfish-eating sea snail could be unleashed as a weapon to save the Great Barrier Reef.
The crown-of-thorns starfish is one of the leading causes of coral loss on the Reef. Now, the Federal Government is funding world-first research into breeding rare giant triton sea snails, which eat the starfish. The sea snails, which can grow to half a metre, were almost hunted to extinction for their shells, and while they’ve been a protected species in Queensland since the 1960s, they still remain rare.
The Government is spending $568,000 on the initial research and trial over the next two years. Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said if the research is successful, triton snails could be used to disperse the starfish and prevent them from breeding.