SF Chronicle: Fukushima radiation possible culprit in huge starfish die off from Mexico to Alaska — Potential catastrophe, it’s extremely virulent “going on up and down coast… It’s going to change what’s out there pretty fundamentally”

Published: December 9th, 2013 at 12:46 pm ET


San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 9, 2013: A mysterious pathogen is wiping out starfish along the Pacific coast, a potential catastrophe that has flummoxed marine biologists […] [They’re] disappearing from large areas along the coast […] Nobody knows what is causing the die-off, but the killer – most likely some kind of virus, bacteria or pollutant – is widespread and extremely virulent. It has ravaged a variety of starfish species in tide pools and in deeper water along the coast from Mexico to Alaska. […] The disease has spread from the shoreline into deeper water […] The disease has even found its way through the filtration system of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which uses sea water in its tanks [and] cannot keep out natural impurities. “There is something going on in the water,” [Michael Murray, the director of veterinary services] said.

UC Santa Cruz professor Pete Raimondi, marine biologist and lead researcher: “Where it has hit, it has been pretty lethal […] This is going on up and down the coast. … It’s going to change what’s out there pretty fundamentally. […] It’s dying in huge numbers […] We’ve seen them go from a lot to zero fast. […] The ones that get it first are all predators […] It just started, so we don’t know yet what it is going to do […] The theory is that there is going to be a fundamental shift [in the balance of sea life] […] Usually it is pretty obvious what is causing it. None of those factors exist […] I don’t think it’s the end. We see it in more and more sites.”

According to the Chronicle, a possible culprit is radiation from the Fukushima disaster

[M]arine biologists who are joining forces to find the culprit […] they are looking for marine biotoxins and viruses and exploring a variety of possible sources, including radiation from the debris that washed across the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima disaster. “We’re not throwing anything out yet,” Raimondi said.

A report from Seattle’s KING5 News earlier this month claimed government tests ruled out any connection to radiation: [intlink id=”tv-sea-star-die-off-worse-than-thought-now-over-entire-west-coast-going-from-one-species-to-others-govt-tests-rule-out-fukushima-coincidence-theyre-all-dying-at-once-or-something-fis” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: December 9th, 2013 at 12:46 pm ET


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76 comments to SF Chronicle: Fukushima radiation possible culprit in huge starfish die off from Mexico to Alaska — Potential catastrophe, it’s extremely virulent “going on up and down coast… It’s going to change what’s out there pretty fundamentally”

  • Proton

    UC Santa Cruz professor Pete Raimondi, marine biologist and lead researche — Why didn't you test the waters for fukushima before opening your mouth?

    • dka

      they can test the water, yes they will find some Fukushima isotopes.
      But finding these isotopes alone still does not prove scientifically that they cause the problem.
      I think that everybody knows the isotopes are out there.
      But a scientist can't just claim that they are causing the problem just because they are there.
      I suspect that only after impressive research efforts that a cause can be establishes.
      This is why we can trust scientist, because they can prove what they say. Otherwise everyone is a scientist.

      • Proton

        It seems like after 1000+ days of fuku-hemorrhage the "impressive" research has been done or is in process.

        You have been suckered into believing that a paid scientist has any interest in the truth. -It's called being a "sheeple"

        • I would have to agree, esp since the nuke departments at the universities are heavily funded by the Big Gov, funny how their studies turn out.

        • dosdos dosdos

          Science doesn't deal in truth. Nowhere in the scientific process does the term "truth" ever apply. Sciences deals with theories and hypotheses, creating models that parallel discernible events, not truth.

      • We Not They Finally

        The scientists can do PLENTY to figure out what is happening, they just can't or won't. By now, it is about unifying factors creating disaster across the ecology. So instead of hiding their head in this or that little box, they need to do system-wide analysis.

        It's called critical thinking. These so-called scientists do not even map out the food chain, they just claim to look at some one organism at a time. Scientists are the last people we need to have tunnel vision right now. But they do.

  • Nick

    Is it possible that Californians are waking up?

    The starfish die-off is just the beginning.

    Better sell your beachfront property asap.

    Radiation? Nah, it's just a mysterious virus. (but whose DNA might have been altered post 3/11/11)

    Why don't all you West Coasters realize how serious Fukushima fallout is?

    I'm betting ~1% of y'all wake-up.

  • bo bo

    'Flummoxed…' that's a new one. These reports work like the thesaurus…
    How many different ways can they come up to describe this B.S. (Baffling Situation)

    • bo bo

      I always knew the Chronicle was more creative!

      • Bo, When I lived in SF Phil Bronstein, Sharon Stone's husband was editor in chief. They were walking up behind me one night towards Christmas on Powell towards Nob Hill. What a beautiful couple. Phil's pretty cool. Now I live in Carmel near the Monterey Aquarium and can hardly breathe with all the chem-trails spraying.

        So yeah, Nuke debris and chemtrails sprayed constantly along the coast..and everything dying. Who'da thunk it. Can keep anything from these reporter dudes. 😉

        • bo bo

          …. being cool and beautiful isn't much excuse to avoid even mentioning fukushima in the article, especially a west coast newspaper… or did I miss sarcasm..?

          • He isn't there anymore…but the person who spoke the truth in succinct plain language was Herb Caen whose been gone a long time. Sarcasm…better than tears seeing beloved coast dying and knowing that after a lifetime better get out asap… As Carmel-by-the-Sea and former mayor Clint Eastwood said, "I could live anywhere in the world, and have been everywhere. Nowhere is more beautiful that this.

            The Monterey Bay is as deep as the Grand Canyon. Earthbound Farms is a few miles up the road…can feel the combination of chemspraying and fukushima in body… My son lives in Europe I wonder what's going to happen if the whole thing blows which is a very real possibility. Unlike an earthquake that does it's dirty work and then you deal with it…this is a shapechanging giant….that rolls out slower and larger and whose future will be much longer than mine…

            • bo bo

              Not quite sure why but I find your posts confusing and somewhat disturbing

            • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

              I grew up on the West Coast and went to university in the Bay Area. The whole West Coast is beautiful. I skipped by 50th reunion because it took place after Fukushima. Because this is a man made disaster, it is really heart breaking. Because nuclear technology is proliferating it is even sadder.

              • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

                “…Workers, military service personnel and the general public have been given the impression that exposure to radiation involves a slight risk of dying of cancer and that one's chances of escaping this are better than the chances of escaping an automobile accident. The probabilities of early occurrence of heart disease, diabetes mellitus, arthritis, asthma or severe allergies — all resulting in a prolonged state of ill health — are never mentioned. Most people are unaware of the fact that ionising radiation can cause spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, infant deaths, asthmas, severe allergies, depressed immune systems (with greater risk of bacterial and viral infections), leukaemia, solid tumours, birth defects, or mental and physical retardation in children. Most of the above-mentioned tragedies affect the individual or family unit directly and society only indirectly. Dr R. Mole, a member of ICRP and the British NRPB, stated: `The most important consideration is the generally accepted value judgment that early embryonic losses are of little personal or social concern.'[34] There are similar value judgments made with respect to other health effects. The health problems are externalised, i.e. placed beyond the responsibility of government, and they are borne by individuals and their families.

                • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

                  “ The risk/benefit decision making which arose from balancing `health effects' against `economic and social benefit' is based on risk and benefit to society, i.e. governments, rather than cost to the individual or family unit. Value judgments have been made as to the level of health effects and deaths `acceptable' to the public. Because of military control of A-bomb studies and military need for personnel to handle radioactive materials, many of these value judgments were cloaked in secrecy for the sake of `national security'. The subject was made to seem complicated to outsiders; the decisions were reserved for the experts. The now famous words of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, `Keep the public confused'[35] about nuclear fission so that the government could gain public acceptance of above-ground weapon testing in Nevada, have certainly been accomplished. A growing number of people in the USA and elsewhere have lost all faith in statements made by government officials, because of the scientific jargon used to mask the truth. ….”

    • mairs mairs

      They certainly haven't consulted a dictionary to find different words for "crippled" Fukushima plant. One journalist finally called it "festering". I'm surprised he didn't lose his credentials for daring to use a different word.

    • ftlt

      Bo: Few on here seemed flummoxed in regards to FUFU blame here.. They seen unequivocally – without reservations – to know FUFU is the reason for the star fish die off on the Pacific coast…

      • bo bo

        I know ftlt… fuku could be the primary cause or the secondary cause, but as I said before here: when a person is stabbed to death, the doctor can say the person died because he was stabbed, but he can also technically just say that the victim died from massive loss of blood or infection of a wound (secondary cause).

        The starfish may indeed be suffering an immune deficiency (in a term coined by bones here :RAIDS), or a new mutated virus popped up in the sea due to radionuclides… Whatever the reason, in the end, fukushima was most likely the culprit that stabbed the ocean to death.

  • mairs mairs

    "…including radiation from the debris that washed across the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima disaster."

    What don't they understand about airborne fallout having ended up in the ocean from day one? I don't understand how dense actual scientists can be. Surely they understand this pathway. They know about the permanent inventory of mercury in our atmosphere that circles the globe. They make me want to scream.

    • "I don't understand how dense actual scientists can be. Surely they understand this pathway."

      They're Men!

      They're genetically encoded to open a cabinet and then ask where the hell the thing he wants is that's staring him in the face. It's what they do.

      "Honey! Plutonium's pouring into the sea. And these millions of starfish are melted. And UCLA clobbered SC. Grrr, Get me a beer and show me something naked."

      No offense men. You do other things well. But think the last one who connect dots was King Odysseus in the 1000s BC and that took him 20-years.

      But then, I couldn't change a tire if there was $100K in it for me. So, we're even.

  • vicky13 vicky13


    Amazing how stupid our species truly is.

  • weeman

    The first question I asked when this situation first appeared was it occurring in west coast aquariums?
    Why they get the water from the same ocean, it is filtered and uv light kills most bacteria etc, but it does not remove radioactive isotopes and therefore we can rule out certain factors.

    • 16Penny 16Penny

      Right? I've been reading some starfish / aquarium blogs and the pros are religious about quarantine protocols to prevent contamination of their aquariums. This problem is bigger than your run of the mill vibro outbreak. Better start looking for radiation I guess.

      • Looking for it? It's riding down Main Street on a big o red fire truck ringing it's bells. I've been watching US radiation background levels on netc.com very interesting how the numbers flow with the wind/sea currents….in the tools on left column will find animate tools….

        We're all going to be f-ing dead brainiac amateur detectives by the time this is done.

        Should we have a school drink? Hot Organic Apple-Mint Honey Toddy's? This is California in winter after all. 😉

    • NoNukes NoNukes


      I've heard that it showed up in west coast aquariums by 3/20. Probably East Coast aquariums a couple of days later.

      Why wouldn't it? "… Meanwhile, seaweed samples were still showing increasing iodine-131 as of March 28, according to data provided by [Krzystof Starosta, a nuclear chemist and physicist and associate professor at Simon Fraser University].

      In samples of dehydrated seaweed taken on March 15 near the North Vancouver SeaBus terminal, the count was zero; on March 22 it was 310 Bq per kilogram; and by March 28 it was 380 Bq/kg. …

      Read the report here.

  • davidh7426 davidh7426

    There is I believe a virus that can have these effects on starfish i.e. turning to goo.

    I'm assuming that they checked for that virus, but I wonder if they've bothered to check if it's DNA has mutated, to make it more deadly & possibly change it's capability to live in other conditions.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    It is all connected:
    Fukenstein1,2,&3 cores went ex-reactor-buildings.
    TEPCO insists the cores are still inside containment vessels.
    Groundwater washes nuclear debris into Pacific Ocean.
    Plumes of radioactivity flow across the Ocean, streaming north and south when they hit the West Coast.
    Starfish are the first marine life to die, but I'll bet not the last.
    "…a fundamental shift [in the balance of sea life]"

    Da Yoopers wanna know:
    Where is da damn corium, TEPCO, eh?
    PhilipUpNorth. 😉

  • Nick

    Starfish experts had better get up to speed real quick.

    Maybe check populations in other oceans/tidal areas?

    Better yet…..detailed radioactive isotope analysis of same bodies of water.

    Test. Test.

    If I were a West Coaster, my hair might be standing on end along the base of my neck.

    Bet the fogs rolling over San Francisco Bay might be a tad radioactive?

    Get ready folks. The truth will unfold.

    • I lived in San Francisco for 20 years and moved down to Camel by the Sea for cleaner sea fresh air blocks from the beach where can look out desk window and watch the nanoparticle aluminum-barium-stronium jet plumes increasingly blanket the sky.

      I ran into our former CIA Director in CVS he lives in Carmel Valley. Shouda asked him nicely for the antidote.

      Rupert Murdock lives here too….I guess he isn't concerned about real estate prices.

      Wait a couple of years, you'll be able to buy California beachfront cheap. Wonder what color the ocean and skies will be then. The sky is rarely blue any more…

  • nedlifromvermont

    yes, yes … its all possiblen … the mutagenesis attributable to radioisotopes, with which the Pacific is being loaded daily, is not restricted to human or other "higher" life forms …

    the spirochete carrying Lyme disease was not described by science, prior to the construction of the radionuclide generating and leaking Connecticut Yankee NPP just upstream from Lyme, on the Connecticut River … radioisotope induced mutation or chance?

    We may never know, but we are sure not to know if we do not look …

    One of Gofman's colleagues is reported to have said to him, "John! Even if you are right and many people will die from cancer from the civilian nuclear power program, what do you care? We'll both be long dead when that happens." I think he included this story in his "Irrevary".

    peace folks!

  • lovE lovE

    Are starfish dying in Japan? If not then the West coast "die-off" can't be due to radiation.

  • Bones Bones


    1. Largest nuclear release ever and continuing so record setting every second.

    2. All maps show the entire west coast of N.A. especially from Mexico-ish up constantly pounded by the plume. (All estimates I've seen are low. I have yet to see any using current data.)

    3. Some strange thing is affecting all these different creatures in all these areas aka continental size catastrophe.

    4. It's in the water…Fact

    5. Normal human: OBVIOUSLY! Fukushima, whatever the EXACT processes, is causing all these catastrophes.

    That is Fukushima, at least summed up right now.

    • I guess this means Japan will be a little short and not paying the US back on their loans.

      And while the banksters are now packaging lease derivatives on all al the homes they foreclosed on and now rent out….so when those default–how WILL the US bail-them?

      Oh, Nooooos. Now we have a problem our leaders can focus on! Saving the Banksters.

      Interesting factoid: The Cayman Island population is <60K but the 5th largest economy in the world.

      Just in case you wonder where your 401K went. It's having a lovely time on the beach there and meant to send you a postcard…

    • Well, in case you want to get the global picture of how this story unravels. It's in writing. Yup.

      It was Bushco's Prequel: The 2004 "Abrupt Climate Change Scenario" commissioned by the Pentagon that read like a sci-fi novel. Until now.

      Now it read's like Jane Fonda in her drinking days cuddling up to the 3rd highball.

      "Hello, Old Friend."

  • tsfw tsfw

    Of course they know. They aren't stupid. They're psychopathic liars but they aren't stupid, and they do know.

    • TSFW, 'liars' and 'psychopaths' is redundant, dear. All the same family. Liars are in steerage, and psychopaths are driving the boat…

      Isn't it charming how GEs fingerprints as designer of this/and owner of the NBC network, is barely mentioned. And why hasn't The Donald told us how he could fix it faster than he built the ice rink that saved New York.

      And Cheney. Shouldn't he let his Princesses shoot it out alone, to maybe suggest we Shock and Awe FukuYu with DU. Just bury it. Give Halliburton the contract to pave it over and build the world's largest Embassy and Fun Zone right there next to China. Will show them Syndrome!

  • tsfw tsfw

    [M]arine biologists who are joining forces to find the culprit […] they are looking for marine biotoxins and viruses and exploring a variety of possible sources, including radiation from the debris that washed across the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima disaster. “We’re not throwing anything out yet,” Raimondi said.

    HA..the same debris that was supposed to be harmless?

  • tsfw tsfw

    Interesting, starfish pump seawater through their systems instead of blood!


  • This is my best effort at elucidating the fact that Fukushima was a nuclear explosion of sorts, AND that we were heavily dosed. I think its an important point. I think that knowledge could sway some "swing voters" in the nuclear debate.

    Fukushima WAS a Nuclear Explosion, Here Is The Proof
    The only way that the tens of tons of uranium and plutonium shown by US EPA air samples could occur was if the explosion came from within the reactor vessel, and/or spent fuel pool. So clearly the explosion was a nuclear type of explosion from within. Nuclear promoters have long stated that nuclear plants can't blow up in a nuclear explosion. We know this to be a lie. In fact Chicago's own Argonne National Lab has video from back in the day when it was "cool" to perform open air tests to blow up reactors to prove the nuclear chain reaction can blow up the reactors. The special type of Nuclear Explosion is called a "prompt moderated criticality". cont….here


  • Grampybone Grampybone

    The phosphate bonds in marine life in the Pacific are being detonated by pico sized electron emissions. Starfish use and create a large amount of calcium. Strontium 90 and Yttrium both bond to bone creating cells. The bonds break and the legs simply walk away and dissolve. Predators die first. Then protozoan life becomes scarce and oxygen levels in ocean water decreases increasing ocean temperatures to bloom scavenger species.

  • American Phoenix57

    This year I'm putting my large starfish (bought from a tourist trap in the Fl keys)on top of my Christmas tree as a reminder of the devastation at hand. Last year I asked Santa to bring me something to help me survive this mess. I was a good boy so he brought me these.




    This year things seem to be getting worse so I'm hoping he brings me these.




    If you see him tell him I was good again.

    • Side benefit of all the chemspraying. I now weight what I did at 17 and can fit in my Blue Bird uniform, and a Geiger Counter would be such a groovy accessory. Does a classic Chanel bag go click-click-click-clickty-click to impress all your friends? No, no it does not.

  • ftlt

    Now that all of you have proved it is definitely FUFU's fault without a doubt ..

    How is the removal going??? no news… Are they stuck???

    • ftlt The team is 36 folks working 2 person shifts, at 2 hrs each, with 1553 assemblies each containing approx 120 rods to remove. Calculate with potty and sushi/tea breaks and the climb up and down from the 4th floor in their Haz-Mat suits. They ain't heavy, they're your bro-der.

      Oh, and re news. If you say anything it's 10 years. New law.

      The government has told the citizens to just smile and radiation won't hurt you. They're busy working on the Olympics.

      I wish Jonathan Winters was alive. I knew him. So funny. He'd sit around in Montecito in his combat fatigues…everything that came out of him was a scream. I had a Japanese exchange student from Nagoya. And took her picture with him. "If I can't pay the rent, I'm selling it to the National Enquirer. Jonathan's new GF". 'Don't say that dear."

      Back to work…

      • ftlt

        1COast: Johnathan Winters was incredible – mad as a hatter funny..

        • ftlt

          So the removal is going forward – That is one bright spot…

          Many here knew the world would end because of it…

          Have not heard much about the damaged bundles that were reported in #4 – Have you???

  • SadieDog

    Hey friends, a little pick-me-up for you all. The Starfish Story – http://www.esc16.net/users/0020/FACES/Starfish%20Story.pdf

  • sueec

    This abstract explains a lot http://www.researchgate.net/publication/248461630_Routes_of_plutonium_uptake_and_their_relation_to_biomagnification_in_starfish

    The distribution of 239 + 240Pu and 238Pu in environmental samples of starfish tissues is identical to the tissue distribution observed in experimental animals following uptake of plutonium directly from water. Plutonium in sea water has a strong affinity for the mucus-rich epidermal layer of starfish which contributes substantially to the relatively high levels of this transuranium nuclide measured in these invertebrates. Transfer of plutonium to starfish via food also occurs; however, the resultant tissue distribution is not consistent with that found in the natural environment where plutonium is available from both contaminated food and water. These data suggest that food chain biomagnification of plutonium by starfish does not occur in nature as has been previously hypothesized.

  • Two questions:

    1. How many 'experts' does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    2. How long does it take to test a starfish for radioactive contamination and print the results for all to see?


    1. Just 1, but for some reason the light keeps failing to turn on.
    (After a 2 year peer reviewed study it was determined the lamp was not plugged in.)

    2. Less than a month I'm sure. 😉

  • ExSophus

    You need to understand there were instances of what appears to be the SAME disintegration of starfish off the EAST coast of the United States…at least 2 years BEFORE Fukushima.

    With the amount of shipping commerce (and ballast dumping) between east coast and west coast ports (via Panama Canal), it is very possible for sea-borne diseases to be almost instantly carried between the two coasts.

    I'm not claiming Fukushima is not responsible for the west coast starfish deaths, but I think it's much more likely something else is in play for THIS particular biological problem.

    Regardless, I remain extremely concerned about the radiation in the Pacific and its impact on other organisms. Fukushima hyper-aggressive remediation should have received world-wide attention from day one.

  • name999 name999

    coastal californian…you have a way with words…love the funny that gets the bad news too…

  • pkjn

    Mystery ailment is wiping out coast's starfish
    December 9, 2013 San Francisco Chronicle

    The killer – most likely some kind of virus, bacteria or pollutant – has ravaged a variety of starfish species in tide pools and in deeper water along the coast from Mexico to Alaska.

    Marine biologists who are joining forces to find the culprit are looking for marine biotoxins and viruses and exploring a variety of possible sources, including radiation from the debris that washed across the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima disaster.