Among the borad range of large-scale disturbances that affect Indo-Pacific coral reefs, the coral-eating starfish Acanthaster planco (COTS) is a major cause of coral reef destruction. Over a third of Indo-Pacific reefs were recently affected by severe COTS outbreaks, leading to growing concern that they are becoming more frequent and more prevalent due to increasing global climate change and/or anthropogenic pressure.

Drawning results obtained in New Caledonia and Vanuatu and the recent development of cheap, innovative COTs removal techniques, Dr. Dumas and Ms. Fiat wil talk about how more effectively controlling COTs outbreaks will require upscaling the lessons learnt ar local (villages, communitiesà levels. They will present the OREANET project that starts this year in Fiji, the cornerstone of a regional initiative aiming at developing national cost-effective COTS monitoring networks. Based on an approach of "participative science", the OREANET initiative relies on observation reports provided by a wide array of marine stakeholders (including diving clubs, NGOs, associations, research organizations) using simple, innovative web-based tools.

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