Pacific Starfish Dying From Freakish Disease
“I’d heard that the sea stars were dying en mass but this was beyond my imagination.”
“It was like carnage or a mass grave. Dead and dying sea stars, body on top of body.”
It’s happening very fast. The sea stars are dying and the bodies are piling up…
Although the cause has yet to be determined, speculations now range from a simple disease or parasite to the continued dumping of hundreds of tons of highly radioactive water into the ocean from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant…
The statements quoted above are from Laura James who was diving off the coast of Seattle recently, and are the latest stunning examples of what appears to be a mass die-off of starfish (sea-stars) in the Pacific Ocean.
As far back as early 2012, nuclear radiation from the Fukushima power plant was being detected in bluefin tuna off California’s coast. Months earlier, cesium-137 was being found in almost all Japanese seafood being sold in Canada, with 100 percent of seaweed, carp, monkfish and shark showing detectable levels. Even with Japanese scientists finding high cesium levels in plankton all across the Pacific, the FDA has continued to claim that there is no need to test any seafood.
August of this year, Canadian biologists near Vancouver Island discovered herring bleeding out of their eyes and gill, while members of Canada’s aboriginal community began simultaneously reporting historically low Skeena River sockeye salmon returns.
A freakish disease is turning starfish into goo.
All along the Pacific coast, starfish are experiencing their largest known die-off, which is affecting more species of sea stars than any other attack in recent memory, biologists said. A smaller and isolated Atlantic outbreak, at points off Rhode Island and Maine, has also been noted.
“We are at the onset of the outbreak,” said Pete Raimondi, chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Santa Cruz.
More important, said Drew Harvell, a Cornell University professor of ecology and evolutionary biology who studies marine diseases, “these kinds of events are sentinels of change. When you get an event like this, I think everybody will say it’s an extreme event and it’s pretty important to figure out what’s going on.”
-The Sydney Morning Herald
“It came from out of nowhere,” said Laura Rogers-Bennett, a senior environmental scientist for the California Fish and Wildlife Service.
An event stretching from Southern California to British Columbia with multiple species is virtually unheard of.
It’s happened so rapidly that some species are just missing.
“The die-off decimated the starfish population in this cove (Monterrey Bay,)” “Two species that used to thrive here have now vanished.”
Reporter: “Are you worried this could be the canary in the coal mine?”
Marine Biologist: “Absolutely.”
NBC Nighly News report on the dying starfish:
While scientists and biologists currently do not know what exactly is causing this mass die-off, it is very alarming to say the least. Whether or not this has anything to do with Fukushima, or if is determined to be a ‘natural’ disease that is affecting the oceans, we do not know its full extent yet and whether or not others in the ecosystems will be affected.
This reminds me of what a potential human pandemic might look like.
It seemingly begins out of nowhere and it rapidly works its way around the globe as it indiscriminately kills off a species, or at least tries to…
We need to pay close attention to this.