PBS out of Seattle is examining the mysterious epidemic devastating the local starfish population.
Starfish, also known as sea stars, are wasting away by the tens of thousands, not just in Puget Sound, but up and down North America’s Pacific Coast. And nobody knows why. It seems the Sea stars are experiencing a mass die off all the way from Southern California to Alaska, with mortality rates up of 97% according to biologists. The die off has spread in a matter of 2 months, from just a few areas, to the whole Pacific ocean coast.
Shortly after the Washington State observations, a mass die-off of both Sunflower stars (Pycnopodia helianthoides) and sun stars (Solaster dawsoni) was observed in the waters around Vancouver, BC at the end of August and the beginning of September, 2013.
At first, only a certain species known as the sunflower star seemed to be affected. Then it hit another species, then another. In all, about a dozen species of sea stars are dying along the West Coast. It’s been coined sea star wasting syndrome.
But researchers say it’s too early to connect these outbreaks.
In addition we note that back in August, Washington's blog posted an article asking: Is Fukushima Radiation Contaminating Tuna, Salmon and Herring On the West Coast of North America?, an article in which Washington draws attention to various other developments in the waters off our coast.
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