– Marine Biologist: All the sea stars along west coast of North America could be wiped out — Some developing ‘bald spots’; “Others look completely healthy except for guts coming out” — ‘Speculation’ it could be related to Fukushima (ENENews, Dec 12, 2013):
Times Colonist, Dec. 10, 2013: […] The mysterious illness has the potential to wipe out all the sea stars along the west coast of North America, said Paula Romagosa, a marine biologist and curator at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney. “Events like this have happened before but on a much smaller scale. We’ve never seen one of this magnitude.” The die-off of sea stars was first detected in August in small pockets in Howe Sound, off West Vancouver and in Indian Arm. Since then, the extensive die-off has been reported along the shoreline from Alaska to California. […] The virus affects the animals in different ways. A sea star at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre showed it was unwell by developing a bald spot. […] Others look completely healthy except for their guts coming out in strings. […] There is speculation that the die-off could be due to water-borne radiation originating from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Romagosa said that doesn’t sound likely because the first place it was seen was in a remote area of Indian Arm and not the west coast. […] “It could be chemicals that are released into the water from pulp mills or factories” […]
Chemicals released into Vancouver waters could be causing this unprecedented die-off stretching from Mexico to Alaska? Though the leading edge of Fukushima’s radioactive particles may be just now arriving on North American shores via the ocean, see the list of links below for data on airborne contamination on the west coast that occurred soon after 3/11.
Cedar Street Times, Dec. 7, 2013 (emphasis added): Here in Pacific Grove, [Pacific Grove resident John Pearse, a Professor Emeritus from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz] reports that divers have spotted diseased sea stars in the kelp forest near Hopkins Marine Lab. “They recently told me that there are almost no stars left except bat stars that seem to be more resistant,” states Pearse. […] In the face of speculation that […] Fukashima* radioactivity may be affecting our area, Pearse says no […] “It is my understanding that there has been little or no detectable increase in radioactivity on our coast since that disaster. Yes, some fish that swim across the ocean have detectable radionuclides (cesium-137) that almost certainly came from Fukashima*, but I don’t think they have been detected in intertidal animals such as sea stars (along our coast).”
*If the author is going to write about this topic, perhaps learning the proper way to spell Fukushima would be a good place to start. This article was linked to by the UC Santa Cruz website discussing the wasting syndrome, or else it would likely have gone unnoticed. It is the only update to UCSC’s ‘Articles, Publications, and News Broadcasts‘ section during December, even though several high profile reports have been published (KING 5 News, SF Chronicle).
According to Pearse, the sea star population in the kelp forest at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Lab in Monterey Bay has been nearly wiped out, and that “it is my understanding that there has been little or no detectable increase in radioactivity on our coast since that disaster.”
A Google search can enhance someone’s ‘understanding’ a great deal — how about ‘Kelp’, ‘Fukushima’, ‘California’.
Here are some highlights for anyone who prefers evidence over someone’s ‘understanding’:
- Study: Fukushima radiation plume contacted North America at California ‘with greatest exposure in central and southern California’ (Source)
- California had 2,500 Bq/kg of iodine-131 in seaweed — Over 500% higher than other tests in U.S., Canada (Source)
- 40,000,000 Bq of iodine-131 in a single bed of kelp off California — Amount most likely larger (Source)
- Study Author: California iodine-131 probably double or triple what we reported (Source)
- California Newspaper: Coastal fish possibly affected by radioactivity — “I would assume it’s there” in the plants and animals off California’s coast says researcher (Source)
- Local TV: Radiation in kelp could create a health concern for California seafood lovers — “The question we all want answered, how dangerous is this to you and me?” (Source)
- L.A. Daily News Column: Radioactive kelp is California’s “most under-reported story of the spring” — “It’s been somewhat radioactive off-and-on for months” (Source)
Researching the Fukushima contamination in the Pacific Ocean that’s being transported to the North American west coast via the North Pacific Current is an opportunity for additional understanding. For starters try this: Study shows Fukushima nuclear pollution becoming more concentrated as it approaches U.S. West Coast — Plume crosses ocean in a nearly straight line toward N. America — Appears to stay together with little dispersion (MODEL) and this: Experts: Fukushima contamination data wrong, may be 1,000% of levels reported by gov’t and Tepco — 60 billion becquerels of strontium and cesium claimed to be flowing to ‘outer ocean
– Weird Things’ Happening On California Coast: Unknown Toxic Algae Blooms Proliferating; Unprecedented Mass Of Oxygen-Poor Water – Mystery Strandings Of Large Squid Covered Miles And Experts Baffled … ‘Essentially Killing Themselves’
– NBC Nightly News: “Another highly troubling report about what’s going on in the Pacific” — Millions of starfish ‘melt away’ from Alaska to California — Expert: Fukushima radiation ‘not ruled out’ as factor in epidemic — Very, very different than anything seen before
– (UPDATED) ‘Extraordinary’ string of whale and dolphin encounters off Canada’s Pacific coast “could have a deeper meaning” — Indigenous Academic Adviser: “We see them as our relatives, as ancestors… It’s for the better of all of us to listen” (VIDEO)