Sea star die-off

Fish & Invertebrate sightings and descriptions, hosted by resident NWDC ID expert Janna Nichols (nwscubamom).
fnerg
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby fnerg » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:15 am

As a counterpoint, I did a dive at Alki Junkyard last night, and only saw 5 stars in the very early stages of the disease out of maybe 22-23 total. I've sent reports to the folks at the Vancouver Aquarium and UC Santa Cruz.

It's interesting that two nearby sites can be very different in terms of how hard they've been hit, though the two sites are pretty different current and bottom-wise.

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BillZ
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby BillZ » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:56 am

We did two dives at Cove 2 last night and we saw about 25 - 30 dead sea stars around the Honey Bear and in the shallows between the Honey Bear and the divesite entry point. There were also several others that appeared to be in distress. I can't remember seeing one healthy looking sea star in the entire area.

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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Tidepool Geek » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:25 am

Greetings,

Thanks to everyone that posted background articles on this situation. Here's another one:

http://www.reef2rainforest.com/2013/11/ ... ver-again/

This one has some history and science that describes why this sucks even if you don't care about the stars.

Disasterously yours,

Alex

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YellowEye
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby YellowEye » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:01 pm

There was another on in West Seattle blog:

http://westseattleblog.com/2013/11/vide ... le-shores/

Nice job Laura!

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nwscubamom
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby nwscubamom » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:44 pm

Janna Nichols
Pacific NW REEF Critterwatchers
My underwater photo galleries
REEF Outreach Coordinator
Seen any cool critters lately?
><((((°>
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Matt S.
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Matt S. » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:10 pm


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Dusty2
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Dusty2 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:50 pm

I will be heading up to port Townsend next week and I let you know what I find. I did see a couple the last time I was up there.

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nwscubamom
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby nwscubamom » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:31 pm

From the recent REEF PNW Critterwatchers newsletter:
Keep your eyes on the stars!

You may have been hearing about the recent seastar dieoff in some areas of BC. There have also been reports of sick or dying seastars in some areas in Washington as well. Scientists are working hard to determine the cause, but need your help.

The Vancouver Aquarium has set up a web form for divers to report both numbers of healthy AND sick-looking seastars.
You can find the link to report what you observe here:
http://www.vanaqua.org/act/research/sea-stars

Seastar expert Neil McDaniel, (website http://www.seastarsofthepacificnorthwest.info) has graciously allowed us to post his photos showing the progression of the disease over a short period of a few weeks. This can give you an idea of what you're looking for. View Neil's photos here:
http://pnwscuba.smugmug.com/Diving/Seas ... g-Syndrome

Remember, the Vancouver Aquarium wants to know the location of both healthy AND sick-looking seastars.
http://www.vanaqua.org/act/research/sea-stars

Feel free to pass this on to your dive buddies, club members, and other interested divers willing to help!

- Janna
Janna Nichols
Pacific NW REEF Critterwatchers
My underwater photo galleries
REEF Outreach Coordinator
Seen any cool critters lately?
><((((°>
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Matt S.
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Matt S. » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:29 pm

I saw a dead sun star at Redondo, flopping around right by the stairs. That was about 3 weekends ago.

Reading the article... Wow, horrible!!

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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Tidepool Geek » Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:27 am

Greetings,

I'm not sure how or even if this relates to the topic at hand: Several years ago at the Feiro Center we had a mottled star (Evasterias troscheli) that developed a problem with one arm - specifically, the arm appeared to be 'withering'. The problem was localized to one arm for a month or two and then seemed to spread to the rest of the animal. we assumed that the star would die but we just couldn't bring ourselves to euthanize it. Our indecision was rewarded after another couple of months when the originally afflicted arm developed a constriction (it looked like an invisible elastic band was wrapped around the arm). It took two or three weeks but eventually the arm detached and the star rapidly recovered. It has since regrown the arm and is as good as new. We assumed that the problem was due to disease or parasite since there was no indication of physical injury to the arm in question or the animal as a whole; OTOH the problem never spread to the star's tankmates, conspecific or otherwise.

Mysteriously yours,
Alex

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eliseaboo
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby eliseaboo » Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:39 pm

We used to see this on occasion at the marine center - I think we determined it to be something called "starfish wasting disease" or something like that (there were a few scholarly articles we had about it). Very strange, and always fatal from what I could tell...

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Jan K
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Jan K » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:43 am

Desert Diver wrote:So what would tear an arm off a sea star? At Sund there was an arm and then the starfish that the arm came off right near the entry but in the boulders where I don't think a diver stepped.


Stars will cast off arm when attacked by a predator (autotomy ). They will grow back. Solaster stars prey on Sunflower and other stars - their favorite food.
Like lizards their tails ...

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Desert Diver
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Desert Diver » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:48 am

So what would tear an arm off a sea star? At Sund there was an arm and then the starfish that the arm came off right near the entry but in the boulders where I don't think a diver stepped.

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Mortuus
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Mortuus » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:27 am

I did a dive very recently (I can't remember where...) and I remember seeing lots of sea star arms laying around. So yeah, I've seen this happening. I didn't know this was on a large scale though

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Jan K
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Jan K » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:02 pm

Found one sick Solaster stimpsoni at Deception Pass today. All other sea stars looked OK.
Image

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Linedog
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Re: Sea star die-off

Postby Linedog » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:32 pm

I came across 2 legs that looked to have been torn off on Sunday at Redondo
Pop tarts and gravy,
It's what's for breakfast.

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YellowEye
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Sea star die-off

Postby YellowEye » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:26 pm



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