Massive starfish die-off near British Columbia baffles scientists

September 12, 2013CANADA - The waters off British Columbia, Canada, are littered with dead starfish, and researchers have no idea what’s causing the deaths. At the end of August, marine biologist and scuba enthusiast Jonathan Martin was out on his usual Saturday dive with some friends when he noticed something unusual. “We just started noticing dead starfish that looked like they had their arms chopped off,” Martin said. They were sunflower starfish (Pycnopodia helianthoides), a major marine predator in the area that feeds mostly on sea urchins and snails. Like most starfish, the sunflower starfish can regenerate lost limbs—it can have up to 20—and can grow to be up to three feet (a meter) across. Since Martin was diving in an area frequented by crabbers, at first he thought the sunflower starfish had gotten caught in some of the crab traps and had lost limbs escaping. But Martin kept seeing large numbers of dead starfish as he and his friends swam to a marine park where such crab fishing is illegal. Martin knew then it wasn’t the traps that were causing the starfish deaths. After returning from the dive, he visited friends at a local dive shop who were active in marine conservation. Without any definitive answer, he shared photos on Flickr and videos on YouTube—taken at Lion’s Bay and Whytecliff Park in Vancouver—to try to get ideas from others about what was going on.
“It really struck a chord in other divers who were seeing it on Facebook and social media, both locally and as far away as California, who had been seeing similar things,” Martin said. “[The starfish] seem to waste away, ‘deflate’ a little, and then just … disintegrate. The arms just detach, and the central disc falls apart. It seems to happen rapidly, and not just dead animals undergoing decomposition, as I observed single arms clinging to the rock faces, tube feet still moving, with the skin split, gills flapping in the current. I’ve seen single animals in the past looking like this, and the first dive this morning I thought it might be crabbers chopping them up and tossing them off the rocks. Then we did our second dive in an area closed to fishing, and in absolutely amazing numbers. The bottom from about 20 to 50 feet [6 to 15 meters] was absolutely littered with arms, oral discs, tube feet, gonads and gills … it was kind of creepy.” Both Mah and Martin also wonder if a population explosion of the species, which began about three years ago, has something to do with the deaths. “It was an unprecedented increase, so maybe what we’re seeing is just sort of a bursting of the bubble. The animals just reached a density that was unsustainable,” Martin suggested. –National Geographic
contribution Jenny M.
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This entry was posted in Acquatic Ecosystem crash, Disease outbreak, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Ecology overturn, Ecoystem crisis due to population boom, Environmental Threat, Food chain unraveling, Marine animal strandings, Pestilence Watch, Prophecies referenced, Time - Event Acceleration. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Massive starfish die-off near British Columbia baffles scientists

  1. Blackbird780 says:

    Hmmm…. duhhhhhh… well it’s definitely got nothing to do with all the radiation spewing into the pacific ˘_˘

  2. Meema says:

    Why wouldn’t the first consideration be the huge amount of irradiated water dumped into the Pacific from the crippled Fukushima plant? http://fukushima-diary.com/category/dnews/

  3. Brimmer79 says:

    Yah! Duh! You may want to stop swimming and eating out of the oceans now. We are in huge trouble! Thank you Fukushima! Save face and kill the world. Ugh.. Some people have too much pride.

  4. My sentiments about Fukushima are similar to the others. Unfortunately, we cannot trust the Pacific ocean for much. It’s a shame that the Japanese officials / govt in charge have failed to acknowledge the severity of their problem. They seem to live in denial over there with the exception of those they have holed up inside (still) to maintain what is left. It’s a real shame.

  5. Harley Rider says:

    Fukushima is destroying the planet, for the whole world not to be rallying around this disaster to contain it speaks volumes, maybe they know cataclysm is coming to the planet soon and aren’t worrying about fukushima for it is not their top priority with much worst devastation on the way!!! Just a thought

  6. With so many unexplainable deaths on land and is seas, as this unexplained death of starfish … could be viewed as the collecting process from remaining generations of those ‘coded Lights bearing DNA’ that sustain life in their molecule forms … those same coded Lights bearing life expressed in the Genesis record of creation, which were given to materialize every first generation of their species into existence … which has maintained those species of life throughout evolution of generations that followed … yet if those coded Lights are being collected with or without any given explanation .. only the dead flesh would remain … either way … LIFE is being drained form the reality we see …

  7. btruth says:

    FUKUSHIMA, HELLO! The Evil people in power, have already started the war on all life on this planet long ago!

  8. DJ says:

    It’s most likely a matter of dollars and cents, and responsibility which no one in high places want to spend and or take. Instead of wasting precious time fighting over land, oil, new world order ideas etc. you’d think common sense would prevail to save people and the Earth. But very unlikely in a selfish self centered egotistical arrogant type power hungry world. And they know who they are, although through justification of their deeds they will just say, oh they are crazy there’s no radiation in the ocean.

  9. dusty says:

    I stopped buying any products of a seafood nature from west coast about year ago.. nor do I buy any products made in china… also gulf coast seafood is also mutated.. and in the name of profit for energy companies. Man is rapidly destroying the natural ego system but the big companies do not care. Mother Nature is going to lash back very soon….

  10. B says:

    Well the human race has an equal footing on this planet with all life and is dependent on it from the smallest microbes to the largest and smartest creatures on this planet all have a equal right to be here. Mother nature is very effective at balancing the planet/solar system /universe for all life . The Human race has no greater right than any other on the planet . If one species such as the human species offsets the balance and can’t learn it will become extinct – seems that is the path the human race is on it may take a while , but the planet will balance itself so take heart in this . Thus another evolving species will have a chance to do better . say by by to yourselves

  11. SammiD says:

    I’m guessing it’s millions upon millions of gallons of Corexit that was dumped into the Gulf of Mexico during the BP oil spill.

  12. Yzerman19 says:

    Spell out the answer with me! F…U…K…U…S…H…I…M…A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Mass Die Off Of Starfish, Chitons, Abalone, Mussels, Sun Stars, Salmon In Pacific Ocean California To Vancouver; via @AGreenRoad
    http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2013/09/mass-die-off-of-starfish-chitons.html

  14. Der Winn says:

    General Electric, the builder of those failed nuclear reactors, ought to be proud of this worldwide destructive disaster. Where is the mainstream media on this? Who silences them?

  15. Penny Repstock says:

    And not far from these waters, schools of herring are showing up bleeding from their fins, eyes and rectum and internal bleeding showing in their bellies. Hardly a word about it and what little has been said tries to pass it off as a ‘mystery virus’. Really?? Again, no one will take a look at all at the levels of radiation in the ocean and the possibility that these fish are dying from radiation poisoning. ‘Nothing to see here people – move along …’ If, indeed, these marine deaths are a result of the Fukushima disaster, I realize that we are virtually powerless to stop it from escalating but withholding the truth or even refusing to consider the possibility does not make it go away. Between the BP Gulf disaster and Fukushima … the oceans and all life within them are in perilous circumstances.

    • It’s quite possible the marine ecosystems in the world’s oceans is overturning, or experiencing cyclic destructive-renewal type events due to the geology on the ocean floor. Sad, to say, for the most part, we’re blissfully ignorant about what covers nearly 3/4 of the planet and is the single most important component to life on this planet besides atmosphere and temperature. We know more about the moon. Kennedy’s 1963 speech couldn’t be more relevant.

  16. If anyone finds out what’s killing them let the guys in Queensland know. They’d love to get rid of their Crown of Thorns Starfish that are destroying our great barrier reef.

  17. Matt says:

    Are they testing these starfish for radiation?

  18. tonic says:

    “[The starfish] seem to waste away, ‘deflate’ a little, and then just … disintegrate.”
    Almost as if they were microwaved.

  19. Di says:

    Zephaniah 1:2- “I will utterly sweep away everything
    from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord.
    3 “I will sweep away man and beast;
    I will sweep away the birds of the heavens
    and the fish of the sea,
    Hosea 4:3 Therefore the land mourns,
    and all who dwell in it languish,
    and also the beasts of the field
    and the birds of the heavens,
    and even the fish of the sea are taken away.

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