Feb 23

Officials: Historic crisis affecting US West Coast… We’re facing a fisheries disaster… Very never-seen-before things… Should be exclamation alarm to public — Threat of extinction of salmon runs; Loss of sardines, squid, sea urchins, kelp; Massive sea star deaths; Marine mammal strandings… more:

Press Democrat, Feb 11, 2016 (emphasis added): Scientists and lawmakers foresee grim outlook for California’s ocean fisheries… the outlook is overwhelmingly grim, presenters said at an annual forum of the joint legislative Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture. “Something’s going on in the ocean, and it’s not right, and it doesn’t fit our historical understandings,” California Fish and Wildlife Director Chuck Bonham told members of the committe… Bonham noted stretches of coastline suddenly barren of sea urchins… [N]umerous anomalies… are growing increasingly apparent, Bonham said. “This should be an… alarm to the general public”… Bonham said… [S]everal witnesses Thursday forecast what most in the industry already have anticipated: a collapse, or near collapse, of key salmon runs in the state… “I cannot say this more bluntly,” [State Senator Mike McGuire] said. “We are facing a fishery disaster here in California”… U.S. Department of Commerce [is] considering a request by Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a fishery disaster… Continue reading »

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Mar 14

Expert: Disease outbreak on US West Coast is largest ever seen in any population of animals — Tens of millions dead — Official: Gov’t needs to declare emergency before extinction occurs — Many scientists believed radiation from Fukushima to blame (VIDEO) (ENENews, March 14, 2015):

McClatchy, Mar 13, 2015 (emphasis added): With millions of starfish dying all along the West Coast [and] disintegrating into mush [Congressman Denny Heck wants NOAA] to declare “sea star wasting syndrome” an emergency before the starfish becomes extinct.

National Geographic, Jan 23, 2015: [It’s killed] tens of millions of sea stars.

Cornell Prof. Drew Harvell, sea star researcher, Mar 13, 2015: “There has never been an outbreak of disease in natural populations of animals that I know that’s been this large.”

Newport Beach official Michelle Clemente: “All of our area’s sea stars have disintegratedContinue reading »

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Oct 03

sea stars collapse

MSNBC: Largest epidemic ever seen in world’s oceans hits West Coast — Emergency legislation proposed in US Congress — Newsweek: Millions dead, researchers have lost count — Experts: It’s beyond anything I ever imagined… Disintegrating before our eyes… Never been an event so dramatic… Shorelines losing biodiversity, blanketed in barnacles (VIDEO) (ENENews, Oct 2, 2014):

KPLU, Sept. 18, 2014 (emphasis added): Proposed Emergency Legislation Aims To Address Starfish Wasting Syndrome… U.S. Rep. Denny Heck… introduced an emergency act in Congress… addressing the sea star epidemic… Heck’s Marine Disease Emergency Act [also creates] funding mechanisms to deal with future outbreaks of marine disease.

Congressman Heck: “Sea stars do not function underwater in a vacuum… This could be a sign of a deeper problem.” Continue reading »

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Sep 30


What’s killing all the sea stars along the West Coast? (Natural News, Sep 29, 2014):

Millions of sea stars have mysteriously been wiped out along the Pacific coast, stretching from Alaska all the way to Mexico. Sea stars, belonging to the class Asteroidea, have been around for 450 million years, according to researchers. More than 20 species of sea stars are showing signs of what experts call “wasting syndrome,” a condition causing the ancient star’s limbs to disintegrate and melt, resulting in massive die-offs.
Continue reading »

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Aug 20

Mysterious sea star wasting syndrome spreads to public aquariums in Washington State, killing hundreds of creatures (Natural News, Aug 18, 2014):

Millions of sea stars have vanished from the West Coast over the past year, affecting habitats ranging from Alaska all the way to Mexico, with some deaths even detected off the East Coast.

Perhaps one of the most peculiar facts about the event is that both wild and captive sea stars are succumbing to what researchers refer to as “wasting syndrome,” a condition that causes the sea stars’ limbs to contort unnaturally, form lesions and eventually tear off, leaving the animal fatally deflated. Continue reading »

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Jul 31

CBS: This is really disturbing, sea stars dying by the millions on West Coast — Like the Black Death, only faster and deadlier — ‘Mystery plague’ affecting 20+ species — TV: Disappears from Orange County coast over 2 week period — Expert: “Largest epidemic ever in ocean… Something has changed in marine environment to lead to this” (VIDEO) (ENENews, July 29, 2014):

CBS L.A., June 17, 2014: A mystery plague is killing starfish across the West Coast […] scientists are scrambling for answers. Here at Crystal Cove, scientists reportedly found about 200 starfish just in this area. This month, that number is down to one. […] a mysterious disease is eating unprecedented numbers of starfish alive. Amanda Bird, marine restoration coordinator with Orange County’s Coastkeeper: “Within the span of about 2 weeks, they were there, then not there.” […] In the last 6 months, she has seen starfish in Orange County all but disappear. Bird: “I saw evidence of wasting disease… and then there were no sea stars.” […] The disease has wiped out whole populations of sea stars in Orange County. >> Watch broadcast here

Siuslaw News, July 15, 2014: “Last December, [Oregon] had less than 1 percent of sea star wasting. By May 1, more than 5 percent of sea stars were affected. Now, I would say, in some areas, it is up to 90 percent […] If you go down to the beaches, what you are not seeing is sea stars. In April and May, we were seeing a lot of the disease. Starting in June, we were just not seeing the sea stars” –Fawn Custer, CoastWatch Continue reading »

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Jun 12

Experts: Disease explosion in West Coast sea stars — “Extinction event” is pretty close — “Epidemic of historic magnitude… threatens to decimate entire population” of species in Oregon — Sudden 50-fold increase in recent weeks — Entire ecosystem could be disrupted — “We have no clue” (VIDEO) (ENENews, June 11, 2014):

North Shore News, May 23, 2014: Mysterious disease is now attacking purple starfish in B.C. […] “We thought it had stopped,” said Jessica Schultz [of the Vancouver Aquarium.] — More from Schultz: “Certainly possible things will get worse […] it seems to be coming back in different species [but] I’m not expecting to see an extinction.”

Port Townsend Leader, June 4, 2014 (emphasis added): “This event is greater than we’ve ever seen […] There’s a good chance we’ll see it take off, more than we have already, up and down the coast this summer […] I don’t think anybody is considering extinction at this point […] it will be interesting to see what happens over this next year […] there could be local extinction” –Melissa Miner, UC Santa Cruz Continue reading »

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Apr 05

Experts: Sea stars decimated on West Coast — Population ravaged as mystery disease spreads south, “gone from 100s to ZERO… hit really hard” — Turning to ‘bacterial goop’ — Mortality event like this never before documented — “Uncharted waters… likes of which we haven’t seen” (RADIO) (ENENews, April 5, 2014):

KPCC (Southern California), Apr. 3, 2014: A mysterious disease that has been killing massive numbers of sea stars along the West Coast is now firmly entrenched in Southern California […] causing some species to disintegrate and liquify into bacterial goop […] in populations stretching up into Alaska. […] Jayson Smith, a marine conservation ecologist at Cal Poly Pomona […] found 11 sea stars, four of which were exhibiting signs of infection […] the low numbers were actually a welcome sight. “[…] it is positive sign that there are some here, because that’s more than I’ve seen in other places,” […] Smith and his crew found no sea stars at Shaws Cove, a spot where they had previously counted about 400. As bleak as the widespread die-offs have been, some researchers are excited by the research opportunity […] Continue reading »

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Jan 30

Sea Star Wasting Disease

NPR: West Coast sea stars melt into mush, “just vaporized… it’s the change of my lifetime” — “Ripping themselves apart… innards spilled out” — “Like the Matrix” — “That many species, that widespread… just scary” — “Makes me wonder, what’s next?” — ‘Possible’ Fukushima fallout is involved (VIDEO) (ENENews, Jan 30, 2014):

NPR, Jan. 30, 2014 (Emphasis Added): […] Scientists first started noticing sick and dying sea stars last summer at a place called Starfish Point on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. […] Reports have since surfaced from Alaska to as far south as San Diego, raising questions of whether this die-off is an indicator of a larger problem. […] fat, multi-armed stars melted into piles of mush. […] about a dozen species of sea stars are dying along the West Coast. Sea star wasting has also been reported at sites off the coast of Rhode Island and North Carolina. But researchers say until they’ve identified the cause of the West Coast die-offs, they can’t confirm any connection between these outbreaks. […] Within a few hours, the sick stars started ripping themselves apart.  […] Their innards spilled out and they died within 24 hours. As for the healthy looking stars […]  they didn’t show symptoms anymore rapidly by being in the same tank with sickly stars. […] Some have asked whether radiation or tsunami debris associated with the Fukushima disaster could be behind this die-off. But scientists now see Fukushima as an unlikely culprit because the die-offs are patchy, popping up in certain places like Seattle and Santa Barbara and not in others, such as coastal Oregon, where wasting has only been reported at one location. […] there’s no evidence to entirely confirm or entirely rule out […]

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Dec 31

Starfish Wasting Disease outbreak could be due to radiation (News1130, Dec 30, 2013):

Scientist says radiation from nuclear plant damaged by 2011 earthquake can’t be ruled out

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Researchers say nuclear pollution from the 2011 earthquake in Japan that damaged the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant could be partially to blame for a disease wiping out starfish along the West Coast.

Dr. Peter Raimondi of the University of Santa Cruz says something is making starfish susceptible to whats believed to be a bacteria coined “Wasting Disease.” It essentially disintegrate the marine invertebrates into a white goo, after the starfish loses its legs.

He says what’s making sea stars unable to fight off the bacteria could be anything from warm water to toxins–but Raimondi also says scientists can’t rule out nuclear pollution, especially in light of the tsunami that followed the 2011 earthquake.

Continue reading »

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Dec 13

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” […]

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