The Echinoblog has a series of very informative posts about these creepy invaders.
Part 1 on these introduced sea stars details their destructive impact on the ecosystem, with Part 2 with more about how taxonomy played an important part and efforts to get rid of the sea stars.
The Echinoblog also has a post with photos of these sea stars as human food, with more about why we should NOT eat sea stars.
Unfortunately, some ordinary people confuse the issues and think that ALL sea stars are bad and should be killed. I come across comments to this effect on web forums, from visitors during my walks and other casual interactions with ordinary people.
Marine pest transformed into health product
ABC 29 Jul 09;
A Tasmanian company is hoping to make money out of a noxious marine pest while also reducing its numbers.
The northern pacific sea star is found in large numbers in Tasmania and is blamed for devastating the state's shell fish industry.
Local company Refined Protein Resources has been given a 12 month permit by the Environment Department to extract high-grade bio-active elements from the pests for use in pharmaceutical products.
The Director Ambrose Coad says the minerals are in high demand.
"There are a lot of supplements out there, tablets, powders and so forth that have calcium, magnesium and these other trace elements in them," he said.
The project will also reduce starfish numbers.
Mr Coad says he hopes his divers will be able to collect between five and 20 tonnes a week.
More about recent marine invasive species
from the wildsingapore news blog
- Invasive Species Threaten Critical Marine Habitats, Oyster Among Victims ScienceDaily 17 Jul 09;
- Hawaii scientists waging uphill battle against alien seaweeds Kane'ohe Bay one of few highlights so far in fight against alien seaweeds, Rob Perez, Honolulu Advertiser 26 Jul 09;
- Extinction Crisis Looms In Oceania ScienceDaily 28 Jul 09;
- UK crayfish breeding programme to save native species from American invader Louise Gray, The Telegraph 21 Jul 09;
- Invasive mussels imperil US western water system Felicia Fonseca, Associated Press Yahoo News 18 Jul 09;
- Treating Ballast Water Could Fight Invasive Species Jon Hamilton, NPF 14 Jul 09;
- Silent marine invaders spread through neglect of treaty WWF 13 Jul 09;
- more media articles about invasive species (not just marine).