Santa Cruz Sentinel, Nov. 16, 2013: [...] The stars lose their legs and, essentially, disintegrate into blobs. Researchers have no idea what’s causing it, or how to stop it. The disease, whatever it is, has wiped out sea stars from the local shoreline, with even the pools at Natural Bridges State Beach now empty of stars. Similar die-offs have occurred before, but never this widespread and always during warm-water cycles [...] It is afflicting sea stars from Southern California to Alaska, and [...] the Pacific Ocean being in a cold-water cycle. “Those are two very bewildering facts,” said Pete Raimondi, who heads UC Santa Cruz’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology lab. “[...] what we really don’t understand is how [they get infected],” Raimondi said. [...] the disease [...] is now showing up in subtidal zones. [...]
CBS News, Nov. 12, 2013: What’s wiping out the starfish in California? [...] Scientists on the West Coast are at a loss to explain what’s killing sea stars, also known as starfish. In some places, 95 percent of the starfish population has died. Marine biologist Pete Raimondi showed CBS News the tide pools along California’s Monterey Bay. Thousands of bright sea stars usually line these shores. In less than two months, they’ve vanished. Raimondi said the mystery of what is happening to the sea stars is “immense.” “I mean, that’s probably, from a scientific point of view, one of the most intriguing things,” he said. “We have no obvious culprit.” [...] The disease is more widespread than ever, stretching from Alaska to Southern California. [...] “We’ve never seen it like this, never,” Raimondi said. [...] Scientists say they don’t know how much worse the die off will get, and that it could be generations before these shores are once again painted purple and orange.
Published: November 17th, 2013 at 4:05 pm ET
- Seattle TV: “Warning, video of the (melting) sea stars might be disturbing” — Scientists are “so concerned” about rapidly spreading die off on West Coast — Doubled in just a few days — Jellyfish numbers booming November 2, 2013
- Lead Researcher: Fukushima pollution may be causing sea star epidemic on West Coast — Sea urchins, sea cucumbers also affected — “Something’s making them susceptible”… “It’s unlike anything we’ve seen”… “Populations go locally extinct overnight” December 30, 2013
- Interviews near US nuclear sites: “Piles of dead lambs, with 2 heads, or no legs… just piles of dead baby lambs” — “Lambs born without eyes or mouths… legs grotesquely grown together, others had no legs” — “Farmers couldn’t understand why all the animals were dying… all the dogs and cats too” (VIDEOS) September 30, 2015
- NBC News: “Grisly disease decimating starfish populations… from Orange County to Alaska” — Scientists: Alarm as they began eating each other, then melting away — Similar problem on East Coast observed since 2011 — Now spreading at “scary” rate (VIDEO) November 2, 2013
- “Eerie new phenomenon” attacking sea creatures on West Coast — Marine life disappearing from tide pools — Fish, octopus, mussels, urchins, limpets, sea hares “seem to be leaving… there’s something going on” — “Experts have no idea what to expect next” (VIDEO) June 25, 2015