Starfish Control Act Law and Legal Definition

The Starfish Control Act (“Act”) is a U.S. federal legislation enacted in 1970. The Act aims to conserve and protect coral reef resources of tropical islands in the Pacific that are important to the U.S.; safeguard critical island areas from possible erosion; and safeguard future recreational and aesthetic uses of Pacific coral reefs. The Act also authorizes the study and control of the Crown of Thorns starfish in the Pacific Ocean. The provisions of the Act are found under 16 U.S.C. §§ 1211 through 1213.

Pursuant to the Act, the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution is authorized to provide assistance and cooperate with the governments of Hawaii, U.S. territories and possessions, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and other U.S. island possessions for the study and control of the Crown of Thorns. The Secretary is also authorized to:

Conduct studies, research and investigations to determine the causes of the population increase of the Crown of Thorns, their effect on coral and coral reefs, and the stability and regeneration of reefs following predation.

Monitor areas where the Crown of Thorns may be increasing in numbers and determine future needs for control.

Develop improved methods of control and carry out necessary control programs.

Take necessary actions to understand the ecology, and control the Crown of Thorns.