SF Chronicle: Fukushima radiation possible culprit in huge starfish die off from Mexico to Alaska

At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a bat star is suspected of suffering from wasting disease. Photo: Russell Yip, The ChronicleENE News

San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 9, 2013: A mysterious pathogen is wiping out starfish along the Pacific coast, a potential catastrophe that has flummoxed marine biologists […] [They’re] disappearing from large areas along the coast […] Nobody knows what is causing the die-off, but the killer – most likely some kind of virus, bacteria or pollutant – is widespread and extremely virulent. It has ravaged a variety of starfish species in tide pools and in deeper water along the coast from Mexico to Alaska. […] The disease has spread from the shoreline into deeper water […] The disease has even found its way through the filtration system of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which uses sea water in its tanks [and] cannot keep out natural impurities. “There is something going on in the water,” [Michael Murray, the director of veterinary services] said.   

UC Santa Cruz professor Pete Raimondi, marine biologist and lead researcher: “Where it has hit, it has been pretty lethal […] This is going on up and down the coast. … It’s going to change what’s out there pretty fundamentally. […] It’s dying in huge numbers […] We’ve seen them go from a lot to zero fast. […] The ones that get it first are all predators […] It just started, so we don’t know yet what it is going to do […] The theory is that there is going to be a fundamental shift [in the balance of sea life] […] Usually it is pretty obvious what is causing it. None of those factors exist […] I don’t think it’s the end. We see it in more and more sites.”

According to the Chronicle, a possible culprit is radiation from the Fukushima disaster

[M]arine biologists who are joining forces to find the culprit […] they are looking for marine biotoxins and viruses and exploring a variety of possible sources, including radiation from the debris that washed across the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima disaster. “We’re not throwing anything out yet,” Raimondi said.

A report from Seattle’s KING5 News earlier this month claimed government tests ruled out any connection to radiation: TV: Sea star die-off worse than thought; Now over entire West Coast; Going from one species to others — Gov’t tests ‘rule out’ Fukushima — Coincidence they’re all melting at once, or something fishy is going on in these waters (VIDEO)


4 thoughts on “SF Chronicle: Fukushima radiation possible culprit in huge starfish die off from Mexico to Alaska

  1. I can’t believe these “expert” scientists never know anything.
    This know- nothing attitude went on and on during and after the BP
    environmental terrorist attack. No body could agree on anything.
    Government scientists, I wouldn’t trust them to diag a nose bleed.

    1. Exactly. The “scientists” are payed to hide the truth and not actually discover new science. It seems stagnant and feels like more dumbing down. They also don’t seem to be too concerned with the mass extinction going on, or that it might already extinct us.

  2. No wonder the Japanese parliament passed a secrecy law last week. This radiation is getting worse and completely out of hand and the cover up has no limits. You’ve heard of the canary in the coal mine? Well new this year is “the starfish in the sea” and I ain’t talking Charlie the tuna.

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