Jeff Christiansen, Seattle Aquarium biologist: We’ve got some sea stars that look like they’re melting on the bottom.
Amy Moreno, KING 5 News: The same thing is happening in the waters near Canada and nobody’s sure why. The cause could be environmental or perhaps driven by disease.
Lesanna Lahner, veterinarian: We often think viral when we think of sea star disease. At this time, we don’t have a good idea of what’s causing it [...]
Moreno: Just a few weeks ago, the populations in Puget Sound waters looked healthy. [...] The news is not good [...] They estimate close to half appear to be sick or dying.
Christiansen: There are a lot of melting sea stars out there, more than even a couple days ago. There would be an apparently healthy animal in really close proximity to a sick animal — no concentration of sick ones and concentration of good ones.
Moreno: The picture becomes more serious when the bags are opened inside of the lab.
Lahner: This animal has a classic appearance of a melting sea star [...] It’s concerning, it’s concerning — and it’s concerning to hear that in a short time period of under a week we’re seeing roughly 60% of this species diseased in this area. [...]
See also: "Alarming" mass die-off of starfish in areas along Canada's Pacific coast -- "They've disintegrated, now there's just goo left" -- "Appeared to melt" -- "Single arms clinging to rock faces, tube feet still moving" -- Similar reports as far away as California (VIDEO)
Published: October 27th, 2013 at 7:22 am ET