Mystery as MILLIONS of starfish wash up dead on west coast

  • Scientists started noticing the mass deaths in June of 2013
  • Both wild starfish and those in captivity have been affected by the mysterious phenomenon
  • Entire populations have been wiped out in Puget Sound

By Afp and Daily Mail Reporter

|

Starfish have been mysteriously dying by the millions in recent months along the US west coast, worrying biologists who say the sea creatures are key to the marine ecosystem.

Scientists first started noticing the mass deaths in June 2013. Different types of starfish, also known as sea stars, were affected, from wild ones along the coast to those in captivity, according to Jonathan Sleeman, director of the US Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center.

‘The two species affected most are Pisaster ochraceus (purple sea star or ochre starfish) and Pycnopodia helianthoides (sunflower sea star),’ he wrote in a statement in December.

Mystery: Millions of starfish on the west coast are dying - and scientists have no idea why

Mystery: Millions of starfish on the west coast are dying – and scientists have no idea why

The sunflower sea star is considered among the largest starfish and can span more than a meter in diameter.

The most commonly observed symptoms are white lesions on the arms of the sea star. The lesions spread rapidly, resulting in the loss of the arm. Within days, the infection consumes the creature’s entire body, and it dies.

Entire populations have been wiped out in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington state, in the Salish Sea off Canada’s British Columbia as well as along the coast of California. The mortality rate is estimated at 95 percent.

Scientists who have spent decades studying the local ecosystem have yet to identify the cause.

‘What we currently think is likely happening is that there is a pathogen, like a parasite or a virus or a bacteria, that is infecting the sea stars and that compromises in some way their immune system,’ Pete Raimondi, chair of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology, at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told AFP.

Wiped out: Entire populations of starfish have been wiped out in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington state

Wiped out: Entire populations of starfish have been wiped out in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington state

Then, the creatures become more susceptible to bacteria which is “causing a secondary infection that causes most of the damages that you see.’

A barometer of sea health

The 2013 phenomenon has not been observed solely along the West Coast; a smaller outbreak also killed East Coast sea stars last year.
Read More Here

…..

What’s killing all the starfish on the West Coast?

By Jean-Louis Santini, AFP

Posted:   02/01/2014 01:40:39 PM PST | Updated:   a day ago
A starfish clings to a rock near Haystack Rock during low tide Saturday, July 31, 2010, in Cannon Beach, Ore.

A starfish clings to a rock near Haystack Rock during low tide Saturday, July 31, 2010, in Cannon Beach, Ore. (Rick Bowmer/AP Photo)

Starfish have been mysteriously dying by the millions in recent months along the West Coast, worrying biologists who say the sea creatures are key to the marine ecosystem.

Scientists first started noticing the mass deaths in June 2013. Different types of starfish, also known as sea stars, were affected, from wild ones along the coast to those in captivity, according to Jonathan Sleeman, director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center.

“The two species affected most are Pisaster ochraceus (purple sea star or ochre starfish) and Pycnopodia helianthoides (sunflower sea star),” he wrote in a statement in December.

The sunflower sea star is considered among the largest starfish and can span more than a meter in diameter.

The most commonly observed symptoms are white lesions on the arms of the sea star. The lesions spread rapidly, resulting in the loss of the arm. Within days, the infection consumes the creature’s entire body, and it dies.

Entire populations have been wiped out in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington state, in the Salish Sea off Canada’s British Columbia as well as along the coast of California. The mortality rate is estimated at 95 percent.

Read More Here

…..

Enhanced by Zemanta

5 Comments:

  • What the hell is being dumped in the water????????????????????
    Every damn thing is MYSTERIOUSLY dying. Thanks for posting and this comment is not directed towards the blogger, they r just putting out relevant info, like this,. Thanks again for sharing.

    • No worries , I understand completely :)

      The truth is there are so many poisons and contaminants being leached and spilled into our waters and lands that if we were made aware we would lynch those very same individuals who claim to represent us. The very same that sell us out for a buck every time they take money to look the other way or bend the rules for Big Corporations and Businesses.
      Our planet is being poisoned and they hypocritically blame it on the people as an excuse for more taxes.

      Thank you for participating and spreading the word, it is appreciated :)

  • Mystery ilness kills millions of starfish .. dolphins eagles …. it’s probably just a coincidence .. now back to watching tv and paying your taxes …. like good wage slaves … ohh look shiny things on sale …. :|


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,590 other followers

%d bloggers like this: