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Please do not take the starfish out of the water!

Saskatoon, Canada
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for La Romana, Bayahibe
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8,050 posts
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Please do not take the starfish out of the water!

When on a tour to Saona Island or when snorkeling at your hotel, please do not remove the starfish from the water. They can survive only 10 seconds out of the water, but if you see how many people travel from the Bayahibe Cove to Saona Island in a day, imagine if half or even a quarter of them do it and the damage that is being caused. You can see them fine if you keep them just below the surface and take yourself down to their level. Just because they don't scream or squirm doesn't meant that they aren't uncomfortable.

The water is crystal clear, so we don't actually even need to pick them up at all. You can see that in this picture which is taken from the boat: …webshots.com/photo/2637688010064234328YlDjOI If the reason that you are taking a picture of yourself with a starfish is because it's cool to see that form of wildlife up close and personal, please give it the opportunity at a good long life that should be the case living in that Caribbean paradise! Some people say that the starfish are planted there (not) and plastic because they're hard and unfamiliar feeling (not), but they are truly a living being and should be respected as that.

Just something to think about. I was spending some time this evening looking at various pictures on the internet and found myself becoming angry seeing how many shots there were of people putting them on their heads and holding them out of the water and smiling.

Kaki

Alberta
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278 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Please do not take the starfish out of the water!

Thanks for that Kaki. Excellent advise, also for those that are eco-friendly you might want to get biodegradable and reef friendly sunscreen to use while on these excursions. This way we can keep nature alive to enjoy again and again.

Blackpool, United...
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77 posts
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2. Re: Please do not take the starfish out of the water!

hi kaki

totally agree about starfish not living very long when you take them out of the water my 13 year old girl told me this,as she was a bit scared for them when she's looked at the pictures of people taking them out of water,thankyou kaki for letting people know this,

Ali.

Saskatoon, Canada
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for La Romana, Bayahibe
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8,050 posts
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3. Re: Please do not take the starfish out of the water!

Thanks for reading the thread and picking up on my message, guys! I think that if we put animals and the world first, we are actually taking care of ourselves too.

Kaki

Bayahibe, Dominican...
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for Bayahibe, La Romana
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4. Re: Please do not take the starfish out of the water!

Kaki, thanks for posting it again,

I know you did it before, I did it few times already and it's good to re-post once a while to remind people about it.

There are few good companies that take care about the nature including the marine life. But I've seen guides from some "eco tours" (unfortunately don't know the company) they are taking the star fish out of the water for ever, and then you see them floating dead.

We've told them few times not to do it, but they just laughed.

I read in another thread, that a guide planted a plastic star fish for the tourists to look at. Trust me, the star fish are not fake or plastic. They are hard, they don't move, but THEY ARE ALIVE and that is what a good guide should tell everybody. They are not planted there for tourist!. I've heard it so many times. Too bad that the "guides" care more about money they get for having a star fish on their heads!

There are many kinds of star fish in the world, some of them can be out of water even for few hours. But these that are here on our side of the island won't survive too long. We have a 10 second rule, no more and that is what Kaki is probably referring to. I think 10 seconds is enough to take a picture, if you have the camera ready and take the star fish just above the surface.

Great comment about the biodegradable and reef friendly sunscreen, very good idea :)

Happy travel

Denise

Saskatoon, Canada
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for La Romana, Bayahibe
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5. Re: Please do not take the starfish out of the water!

Yeah, there are all kinds of tour operators, it's true, and just because they have named themselves "the best" or "animal friendly" it doesn't mean they are. You need the proof or recommendation of arm's length third parties to be assured that it's true.

That "10 second rule" has been around for a long time so I don't know that the tours that don't follow it haven't heard of it but rather that they just opt not to pay heed. I thought about it overnight and think that I didn't actually read it but was told it by Martina Sasser-Marzilius in late 2005. She'd been a diver and business operator in Bayahibe for a while already at that time.

Thank you for your comments Denise. You're well respected so they add weight.

Kaki

Bayahibe, Dominican...
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2,103 posts
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6. Re: Please do not take the starfish out of the water!

And, if you must handle them, don't forget to put them back the right way up! ie orange coloured side up.

7. Re: Please do not take the starfish out of the water!

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