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Mass sea star deaths off US west coast puzzle scientists
AFP via Yahoo News ^ | 2-1-2014 | Jean-Louis Santini

Posted on 02/02/2014 3:04:15 PM PST by Sir Napsalot

Washington (AFP) - 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.

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. (Read more at link)

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: britishcolumbia; california; canada; starfish; washington
We were told (on our Alaska cruise trip years ago, the crab cage only had a huge sunflower sea star and no crab) that the sunflower sea star was a real nuisance to local fishermen and crabbers.
1 posted on 02/02/2014 3:04:15 PM PST by Sir Napsalot
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To: Sir Napsalot

It is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt, Bush’s fault


2 posted on 02/02/2014 3:07:23 PM PST by Maine Mariner
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To: Sir Napsalot

I wonder if Fukushima Fallout is involved in this occurrence?


3 posted on 02/02/2014 3:10:18 PM PST by The Working Man
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To: Sir Napsalot

“Starfish Wasting Syndrome”... cause unknown...

http://deepseanews.com/2013/12/three-reasons-why-fukushima-radiation-has-nothing-to-do-with-starfish-wasting-syndrome/


4 posted on 02/02/2014 3:10:25 PM PST by carriage_hill (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.)
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To: Sir Napsalot
It is time to end the myth of the static earth. Scientists like to pretend that things like ecological systems, climate, etc, are in danger if they see any change. The earth is not static. Never has been. Never will be.
5 posted on 02/02/2014 3:10:26 PM PST by aimhigh
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To: Sir Napsalot

“Global warming” has had them “puzzled” for decades. LOL! They might want to put down all of the “How to Create Computer Models for Dummies” handbooks and pick up a non-revisionist World History book. There’s more to science than just “computer models” created by political hacks with agendas.


6 posted on 02/02/2014 3:14:31 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (ObamaCare. The "global warming" of healthcare plans.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Yahoo News.

Take it with a large bucket of salt.


7 posted on 02/02/2014 3:17:24 PM PST by JT Hatter (Who is Barack Obama? And What is He Really Up To?)
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To: The Working Man

Thinking the same thing.


8 posted on 02/02/2014 3:18:16 PM PST by tennmountainman (Just Say No To Obamacare)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Mass die offs happen. Every so often Alewives die in the great lakes all at once by the billions. As a child I learned that bobcat populations in Michigan rise and fall in unison with snowshoe hare populations.

Can anyone remember hearing a biologist who didn’t call the species in question “key” to the environment?


9 posted on 02/02/2014 3:21:03 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Its a sicilian message. It means luca brasi sleeps with the fishes.


10 posted on 02/02/2014 3:21:15 PM PST by lowbridge
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To: Sir Napsalot

I understand that in the the China Sea off japan the jellyfish are over populating the waters. Short story: all this is surely a sign we need to impose communism immediately if not sooner.


11 posted on 02/02/2014 3:21:23 PM PST by Blue Collar Christian (Vote Democrat. Once you're OK with killing babies the rest is easy. <BCC><)
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To: aimhigh
It is time to end the myth of the static earth. Scientists like to pretend that things like ecological systems, climate, etc, are in danger if they see any change. The earth is not static. Never has been. Never will be.

I wonder if these same scientists believe in evolution?

If they really did, wouldn't one think that they wouldn't be thrown for such a loop as nature takes its course?

Won't something new evolve to take that "niche"? Where's their faith in what they believe in?

12 posted on 02/02/2014 3:22:19 PM PST by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: Maine Mariner

or Evil Rethuglicans

or Fox News

or ..... (grin)


13 posted on 02/02/2014 3:26:06 PM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Sir Napsalot
It's all that carbon coming out of Al Gore's mansion.


14 posted on 02/02/2014 3:28:14 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Sir Napsalot
who say the sea creatures are key to the marine ecosystem.

Seriously,does anyone believe this nonsense? If Star fish were key to the marine ecosystem why is where not widespread panic? That is sort of like saying possums are key to the forest ecosystem.

It would nice to find out whats going on, but lets not start acting silly.

15 posted on 02/02/2014 3:38:02 PM PST by Fzob (Jesus + anything = nothing, Jesus + nothing = everything)
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To: lowbridge
Its a sicilian message.

better than the sicilian sausage eat that and ever one thinks something died

16 posted on 02/02/2014 3:38:29 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: lowbridge

“Its a sicilian message. It means luca brasi sleeps with the fishes.”

Someone watched the Godfather trilogy last weekend.


17 posted on 02/02/2014 3:39:44 PM PST by EQAndyBuzz (Insurgent Conservative)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Read the comments at the link! What a trip!


18 posted on 02/02/2014 3:40:56 PM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: The Working Man

Ya think?

Not really much to be confused about. The smallest creatures die first, and it rolls up the food chain.


19 posted on 02/02/2014 3:56:10 PM PST by Vermont Lt (If you want to keep your dignity, you can keep it. Period........ Just kidding, you can't keep it.)
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To: The Working Man

It mentions those in captivity died also. Could Fukushima Fallout affect them also I wonder?


20 posted on 02/02/2014 4:21:52 PM PST by Peace Is Coming
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To: Peace Is Coming

I wonder that myself, I do know that there are ‘activists’ that are really pushing for more monitoring of the air and ocean for radioactive fallout, especially cesium I believe.


21 posted on 02/02/2014 4:28:37 PM PST by The Working Man
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To: Sir Napsalot

hardly a mystery to me.

fuku-_____


22 posted on 02/02/2014 4:35:05 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

Only the first two :-)

The third one sucked so I didnt watch it.


23 posted on 02/02/2014 4:40:27 PM PST by lowbridge
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To: Sir Napsalot

Over population could be a contributing factor but who am I to make such an observation.............


24 posted on 02/02/2014 4:45:26 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (I think I've lost my mojo.....)
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To: Peace Is Coming
It's probably a virus. Infected wild specimens were likely placed in a tank with captive specimens and infected their tankmates.
25 posted on 02/02/2014 4:46:56 PM PST by Spirochete (Does the FedGov have the attributes of a legitimate government?)
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To: cripplecreek
Every so often Alewives die in the great lakes all at once by the billions

I remember those die offs in Lake Charlevoix when I was a kid growing up there.

The alewive numbers have declined drastically as have the smelt but that's due to the vast increase in game fish such as salmon, lake trout and walleye that are thriving in the lake........

26 posted on 02/02/2014 4:51:18 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (I think I've lost my mojo.....)
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To: Hot Tabasco

The west nile virus decimated blue jay numbers around here. They used to be kind of a pest species around the feeders but these days I only see them every so often.


27 posted on 02/02/2014 4:55:55 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Maine Mariner
It is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt, Bush’s fault

No, he is # 2 as Climate Change is the #1 cause of EVERY-THING.

28 posted on 02/02/2014 5:00:37 PM PST by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Communism is the answer to all our problems. /s


29 posted on 02/02/2014 5:06:24 PM PST by VRWC For Truth (Roberts has perverted the Constitution)
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To: cripplecreek
The west nile virus decimated blue jay numbers around here.

Same here, along with the crows. But they're all back now........

30 posted on 02/02/2014 5:08:07 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (I think I've lost my mojo.....)
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To: cripplecreek

As a side note, during that year, I found a dead blue jay in my bird bath............that was creepy


31 posted on 02/02/2014 5:10:11 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (I think I've lost my mojo.....)
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To: Hot Tabasco

I saw where a hawk or something ate a woodpecker on the sidewalk the other day.

It was pretty quiet around the bird feeder for the rest of the day.


32 posted on 02/02/2014 5:14:30 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: The Working Man

33 posted on 02/02/2014 5:15:34 PM PST by bgill
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To: Sir Napsalot

Dopes all of them I have one word FUKASHIMA!


34 posted on 02/02/2014 6:23:36 PM PST by ronnie raygun (zippy the a##clown sez..............................)
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To: ronnie raygun

Dopes all of them I have one word FUKASHIMA!

Yup, do you really trust the government to say that everything is A-OK concerning radiation levels and fallout from Fukishima???

Most starfish skeletons are made of Calcium material, strontium behaves the same way in the body... Strontium is very radiative from Fukishima...


35 posted on 02/02/2014 6:36:11 PM PST by GraceG
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To: Peace Is Coming

All the water for the tanks of the aquariums at say Long Beach aquarium, Sea World, and other are pumped in ocean water, so basically the same water as the starfish, and other creatures in the wild, therefore the captive starfish would be subject to the some of the same dangers as those in the wild.


36 posted on 02/02/2014 6:50:31 PM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will. They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: GraceG

This is a pathogen, IMO. Virus, bacteria, or parasite. If radiation were that big a deal, every bit of sea life would already have died sometime between 1948 and 1962.


37 posted on 02/02/2014 7:16:17 PM PST by CowboyJay (Cruz'-ing in 2016!)
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To: metmom

I have also wondered why the believers in evolution refuse to allow it to take place. Survival of the fittest, right? Adapt or die, right? What they really want is to be their own gods. They will decide which species to protect and which to destroy or let die off.


38 posted on 02/02/2014 8:49:08 PM PST by informavoracious (Open your eyes, people!)
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To: The Working Man

That is what I hear, but it hasn’t been proved. Lots of stuff on the conspiracy websites about it. Someone sends me the links. Today is the first time I’ve seen anything about the starfish on something like AFP or Yahoo or Drudge.


39 posted on 02/02/2014 8:56:37 PM PST by firebrand
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To: lowbridge
...luca brasi sleeps with the starfishes.
40 posted on 02/02/2014 9:03:15 PM PST by Rodamala
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To: informavoracious

You’re right. The starfish which have survived and adapted will repopulate.


41 posted on 02/03/2014 4:04:23 AM PST by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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