Report sightings of crown-of-thorns

Sightings of crown-of-thorns starfish on the Great Barrier Reef help us to determine the extent of an outbreak and target management efforts. To report a sighting:

Carry out a control program

A permit is required for removing or injecting crown-of-thorns starfish from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and guidelines must be followed. No charge is incurred for this type of permit assessment.

Undertaking a crown-of-thorns starfish control program involves some level of risk. Permittees will be required to obtain appropriate insurance to cover their program and all participants, and to indemnify the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

The type of permission to apply for is ‘A program for the taking of animals, which pose a threat to the use and amenity of a particular area.’

Control guidelines

Crown-of-thorns starfish control guidelines contain technical and safety requirements to assist permittees in undertaking an effective control program.

The guidelines were updated in 2014 and detail how to prepare and use the single-shot bile salts and the multi-shot sodium bisulphate methods.


‘How-to’ videos are available, detailing how to assemble the necessary equipment, as well as pre-dive preparations, search and identification hints, and injection techniques.

Permit holders can contact the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators for further information about injection equipment and the bile salts solution.