20 JUL 3302
The recent meta-alloy rush has left many of the barnacles in the Pleiades Nebula barren.
As many scramble to meet the high demand for the material, it seems the Federation lacks the resources to provide adequate defence.
Federal vessels have reportedly transported huge quantities of meta-alloys from the Merope system, suggesting that it may be partly responsible for the drought.
One independent researcher said:
"As far as we know, a barnacle will 'regenerate' after one week, although we don't know if this is always the case."
"Research indicates that harvesting only 'ripe' spikes will keep the barnacle healthy. A simple scan and visual check will confirm spike maturity."
"Further testing will be needed to determine the specifics, but with the crisis facing civilised space, conducting controlled experiments on barnacles has become next to impossible."
"The way things are going, we risk losing these magnificent entities for good."