Sea star die-off

Fish & Invertebrate sightings and descriptions, hosted by resident NWDC ID expert Janna Nichols (nwscubamom).
User avatar
lamont
I've Got Gills
Posts: 1211
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:00 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby lamont » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:00 pm

3 mid sized pycnopodia at the alki pipeline yesterday.

User avatar
Gdog
NWDC Moderator
NWDC Moderator
Posts: 3374
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Gdog » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:40 am

Thanks for posting this Laura.

User avatar
Tangfish
NWDC Mascot
NWDC Mascot
Posts: 7324
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:11 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Tangfish » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:19 am

Thanks for the update, LJ. Sad that our seastar populations are still under such pressure.

User avatar
ljjames
I've Got Gills
Posts: 2667
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:46 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby ljjames » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:14 am

A number of folks have been asking about Seastar Wasting syndrome, what’s up with it (since our stars have not yet recovered and still show signs here and there) or post necropsy sharing the KCTS9 article where they mention having found the cause that is from a few years ago. One of the primary researchers shared this on FB yesterday so its the closest thing we have to a real time update.... Read his full post below.

TL:DR.... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (They still don't really have a handle on what happened to all our stars.) :(

---------

Four years ago I published a paper that identified the sea star associated densovirus (SSaDV) as the best candidate culprit for sea star wasting disease. At the time my father fought a rare condition called “myelodysplastic syndrome”, which is a heterogeneous group of diseases that manifest with similar symptoms. Often in biology and science it is easier to describe common signs and observations as a single condition, to seek out one explanation for that phenomena. It is easier to explain, easier to spark public interest, and easier to change its outcome in the future. But biology is seldom easy - it is usually highly complex. Myelodysplastic syndrome made me aware that sometimes there are multiple conditions that resemble the same disease – which is made even more valid a possibility when one considers the relative simplicity (in terms of responses) of sea stars to stress. In short, how many ways can a sea star tell us that they’re unwell?
After 4 years of investigation by some of the most dedicated and awesome grad students, undergraduate assistants, technicians and citizen scientists I have worked with, we have found great difficulty in replicating “sea star wasting disease” in the lab. When we first found SSaDV hiding in viruses that inhabited sea star tissues, we had little clue that densoviruses are pretty diverse and routinely found in association with sea stars. Refining our observations to potentially exclude similar densoviruses that we hadn’t seen necessarily associated with any wasting demonstrated that SSaDV wasn’t in any clear way associated with wasting disease in species other than the one for which we had a pretty firm case in 2014 - the sunflower star, Pycnopodia helianthoides. Our previous observation of SSaDV in historical samples from 1942 to present also was not confirmed by this new approach – densoviruses observed in wasting sea stars were only seen from 2013 to present. Further analyses of other potential factors (which is by no means exhaustive) both pathogenic and climatological failed to yield any single or even potentially combination of factors that explained the occurrence of SSWD amongst all species in which it has been observed. In the absence of any explanatory variable or combination of variables to explain the entire disease, the logical explanation is that SSWD is probably not a solitary disease, but rather a syndrome of common disease signs between species, and even amongst the same species at different locations - in other words, it's different things between species and between places. SSaDV remains our prime candidate associated with wasting in sunflower stars – but the same cannot be said for other commonly affected stars, like the ochre star Pisaster ochraceus, or mottled star Evasterias troscheli.
Hence, we propose the new scientific title for sea star wasting disease: Asteroid idiopathic wasting syndrome. Asteroid means sea stars. Idiopathic means that it arises spontaneously and is caused by unknown factors. And syndrome means a series of correlated disease signs.
This new paper can be found in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science at:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10 ... &id=335838
----
"I survived the Brittandrea Dorikulla, where's my T-shirt!"

User avatar
Nwbrewer
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4490
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:59 am

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Nwbrewer » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:53 am

Seems like the stars are making a comeback in Cali.

http://komonews.com/news/local/starfish ... -053642567

I haven't been diving as much as I used to, and it was at least 6 months in between my last two dives at Mukilteo, but it certainly seemed like there were more stars around last week than I had seen in a while. Still no sun stars though...
"Screw "annual" service,... I get them serviced when they break." - CaptnJack (paraphrased)


"you do realize you're supposed to mix the :koolaid: with water and drink it, not snort the powder directly from the packet, right? :smt064 " - Spatman

User avatar
60south
Aquanaut
Posts: 672
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:24 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby 60south » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:11 pm

We saw many dozens of healthy, 5-armed ochre colored sea stars (apparently all the same species) in Townsend Bay today. Only one partial star (wasted?) was found. Average depth about 30 ft. Very encouraging! However, I saw only one sun star, a baby, in the same area where normally I would expect to see more.

Glenn

User avatar
oldsalt
Pelagic
Posts: 906
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:02 am

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby oldsalt » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:10 am

I thought I could add to this thread by checking tidepools on Sucia Island I have been visiting for over 40 years. I did so on Aug 11 at a -0.6 ft. tide. When I first arrived I saw no seastars and thought that I would report as an experienced observer that seastar wasting had hit Sucia Island. Then a 10 year-old girl shouted, "We have lots of starfish over here!" In fact we saw between 40 and 50. All Pisaster, all seemed healthy.
DSCN4816.JPG
pisaster

-Curt
Happy to be alive.

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 3885
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Jan K » Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:42 pm

Another wave of dying for Coupeville, just as it was recovering from the last year's assault...
Image
Image

User avatar
RoxnDox
Submariner
Posts: 546
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 10:32 am

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby RoxnDox » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:46 am

One healthy-looking small purple star out in the tidal flats on the south side of Point No Point Sunday. We tucked him under some eelgrass in a tide pool to keep the kids playing on the beach from seeing him. About 5-6 inches across.
<Penopolypants> "I, for one, would welcome our new cowboy octopus overlords."
<LCF> "There is ALWAYS another day to dive, as long as you get home today."

User avatar
Echo
Compulsive Diver
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:17 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Echo » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:46 am

Yeah, they were looking pretty sad at Skyline last Saturday as well
-Erika

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 3885
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Jan K » Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:44 pm

Not at Langley :(
Image

User avatar
diverden
Compulsive Diver
Posts: 375
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:55 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby diverden » Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:17 pm

I've been noticing more sea stars around the sound. Good sign?

User avatar
Echo
Compulsive Diver
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:17 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Echo » Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:00 am

Look what I found on the Mukilteo Clay Wall last night at 10pm. Excuse the picture quality. There was actually 2. This one was maybe 16'' in diameter, the other maybe twice the size of my hand.
-Erika

User avatar
derekcs
Extreme Diving Machine
Posts: 473
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:14 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby derekcs » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:25 am

I saw several wasting stars at Redondo on Sunday. I'm forgetting what type they were, but they were pretty well wasted.
All underwater photographs of mine are posted at http://www.dereksinger.com
@dereksingerphotography on Instagram

User avatar
ljjames
I've Got Gills
Posts: 2667
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:46 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby ljjames » Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:48 am

Thats the first report this year, i saw one that sounds similar last year.
----
"I survived the Brittandrea Dorikulla, where's my T-shirt!"

User avatar
enchantmentdivi
Perma Narc'd
Posts: 775
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:24 am

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby enchantmentdivi » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:40 am

Is something starting to hit the sea cucumbers? Saw one yesterday at Redondo that looked terrible. Its mid-section was white and waste-y looking. I really wish I'd had my camera with me...
Jenn

User avatar
ljjames
I've Got Gills
Posts: 2667
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:46 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby ljjames » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:13 am

Yup... saw wasting in the mottled star at Cove 2 tonight :( Plus all the green urchins have moved on.
----
"I survived the Brittandrea Dorikulla, where's my T-shirt!"

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 3885
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Jan K » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:01 pm

Wasting continues at Langley.
Did not see any at Keystone or Deception Pass.
Maybe because sea stars are so rare now there, at least comparing to Langley and before the SSWS hit.
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
ljjames
I've Got Gills
Posts: 2667
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:46 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby ljjames » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:15 pm

Thank you for that report Erika, the scientists send their regards and truly appreciate the continued diligence. Dr. Ramondi asks if we could keep our eyes open for any signs of stress in the green urchins that have moved in. There has been some wasting disease seen along the coast in them as well.

Additionally if there are anecdotal thoughts with regards to species density in other critters don't hesitate to mention, every little bit of data helps. I feel like I saw fewer nudibranch's in the mid sound this spring/summer so far, and have been finding baby green urchins up in the intertidal zone at multiple sites (they are under rocks and things). It would be great to hear what you guys are seeing/experiencing as well.
----
"I survived the Brittandrea Dorikulla, where's my T-shirt!"

User avatar
Echo
Compulsive Diver
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:17 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Echo » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:14 pm

I've noticed quite a few at Mukilteo ranging from very small (hand size and smaller) to giant ochre stars in the crossed-leg stage. A good number already wasting into nothing.
-Erika

User avatar
ljjames
I've Got Gills
Posts: 2667
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:46 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby ljjames » Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:01 pm

:( thanks for the report...
----
"I survived the Brittandrea Dorikulla, where's my T-shirt!"

User avatar
enchantmentdivi
Perma Narc'd
Posts: 775
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:24 am

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby enchantmentdivi » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:08 pm

I noticed new wasting at Redondo this week. :(
Jenn

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 3885
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Jan K » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:01 am

I wish I could say it is just a bad dream ...

User avatar
Tangfish
NWDC Mascot
NWDC Mascot
Posts: 7324
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:11 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Tangfish » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:56 am

Nooo! Please say it ain't so.

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 3885
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Jan K » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:38 am

And here we go again - the die off starting in earnest at Langley Harbor :(
Image
Image


Return to “Critter Watchers - PNW Marine Life”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron