Scientists Find Out What’s Killing West Coast Starfish – Earthfix

Well, the answers are finally in, and it appears a mutated strain of a common virus to starfish has set this in motion.

SEATTLE — After months of research, scientists have identified the pathogen at the heart of the starfish wasting disease that’s been killing starfish by the millions along the Pacific shores of North America, according to research published Monday.

…The research team also plans to continue investigating environmental factors such as warming water and ocean acidification that may have caused starfish to be more susceptible to the viral infection.

Read the whole story here:

http://earthfix.opb.org/flora-and-fauna/article/scientists-find-out-whats-killing-west-coast-starf/

Citizen Scientists Asked To Help Search For #SickStarfish – Earthfix

This new crisis to our marine environment is spreading, and here’s a way you can help track it. From reports I’ve read, the root cause may be revealed in the next month. Scientists say they feel they are close to uncovering it. I’ll report on those findings as soon as I see them.

With thousands of miles of coastline in North America, scientists can’t be everywhere at once to keep an eye out for sick and dying starfish…. Puget Sound diver Laura James has built a new tool to make it easy for citizen scientists to help…. James and her dive buddy Lamont Granquist created a sick starfish website for tracking posts to social media sites like Twitter and Instagram. If divers, tidepoolers or beachcombers snap photos of starfish and add the hashtag #sickstarfish, their reports will automatically upload to the map. Katie Campbell reports.

http://earthfix.info/water/article/calling-all-citizen-scientists-in-search-for-sicks/

See also: Sea star wasting syndrome found in seven specimens in Freshwater Bay http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140131/news/301319969/sea-star-wasting-syndrome-found-in-seven-specimens-in-freshwater-bay

Disease killing Pacific herring threatens salmon, scientist warns – Globe and Mail

Independent fisheries scientist Alexandra Morton is raising concerns about a disease she says is spreading through Pacific herring causing fish to hemorrhage. Ms. Morton has called on the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to investigate, saying it could cause large-scale herring kills and infect wild salmon, which feed heavily on herring…. Ms. Morton, a researcher and environmental advocate who campaigns against fish farms, said she caught some herring with similar symptoms in beach seine nets in 2011, but was unable to get DFO to investigate.
Mark Hume reports.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/disease-killing-pacific-herring-threatens-salmon-scientist-warns/article13722113/

%d bloggers like this: