The answer to this post’s title is that nobody knows. How many of you out there even knew this was happening? I only found out about it yesterday from this article titled, “Freakish disease is turning starfish into goo“.
In perfect health: A healthy sunflower starfish cruises across the bottom of waters off British Columbia. Photo: Neil McDaniel
Death is days away: A sick sunflower starfish exhibits the characteristic emaciated appearance and lesions in the body wall of the illness. Photo: Neil McDaniel
The article states, “Starfish off North America’s eastern and western coasts are dying in large numbers and in the most undignified ways. Their colourful limbs are curling up at the tips. Squiggly arms are detaching from dying bodies like tails from lizards and wiggling until they also drop dead. Ulcers are opening holes in tissue, allowing internal organs to ooze out…All along the Pacific coast, starfish are experiencing their largest known die-off, which is affecting more species of sea stars than any other attack in recent memory, biologists said. A smaller and isolated Atlantic outbreak, at points off Rhode Island and Maine, has also been noted…have been killed by disease several times over the past few decades. But each of those events affected only a single species, marine scientists said, not up to seven, as the new plague has. Divers have previously reported mass sea star deaths in warmer waters south of Santa Barbara in southern California, but not in waters as cool as those of Washington state’s Puget Sound.”
Here’ another article that tells about this Starfish issue and did you know about the sardines? You can read about sardines in this Grist article titled, “Sardines have nearly disappeared off West Coast.”
So much for the state of our oceans.