Crown of Thorns Survey and CleanupBy
On Thursday, the 17th of March, HEPCA organized a Crown of Thorns survey and cleanup at Carless Reef.
HEPCA scientists and divers along with volunteer divers from Hurghada carried out a survey and collection dive at Carless Reef, north of Hurghada. This mission came about as a result of recent reports of a Crown of Thorns outbreak at the reef. After initial surveys at and around the reef, it was discovered that a spot outbreak (i. e. limited to a specific location) was in-progress at the reef.
A HEPCA statement was sent out and volunteers gathered at HEPCA premises on Wednesday the 16th for a cleanup and collection training session given by HEPCA scientists.
The survey and cleanup discovered that the Crown of Thorns were not actively feeding and had not spread from the North side of Carless Reef. More than one hundred creatures were gathered by the volunteers. It was discovered that they were all close to maturity which means that the outbreak would have spread dramatically in the coming months and years had they not been collected.
HEPCA scientists warned that the situation needs continued monitoring and further cleanup of the reef is required.