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
- Experts: Seemingly benign virus on West Coast causing “ecological upheaval the likes of which we’ve never seen” — Very peculiar, different from all known viruses — Mutations could be helping it spread — Something may have recently caused it to go rogue… we’ve never seen anything like this — Why now, what changed to allow outbreak? (VIDEO) November 18, 2014
- TV: “The largest disease outbreak that we know of ever in the oceans” now hitting West Coast — Potential for “global extinction” — “Affects over 20 species… causing catastrophic mortality” — Expert: One of history’s largest wildlife die-offs… signal in ecosystem that something’s not right (VIDEO) June 16, 2014
- TV Journalist: Poison from Fukushima plant spreading around the world, causing incalculable damage — They may never get this under control (AUDIO) October 29, 2013
- PBS: Plague along West Coast has biologists fearing extinction of species — Experts: Take your kids to beach and see them before they’re gone; Worst outbreak ever known in the oceans; Catastrophic losses nearly everywhere we’ve been (VIDEO) October 15, 2014