Wasted. What is happening to the sea stars of the NE Pacific Ocean?

Great overview and important information to know about sea star wasting. Chris

The Marine Detective

Last update: December 2017
Sea Star Wasting Disease summary: 

  • Has been raging since June 2013.
  • Unprecedented in both range, duration and number of species impacted – 20 species of sea star species since 2013 from Alaska to Mexico (local variation in intensity of the disease and which species are impacted the worst). It is one of the largest wildlife die-off events in recorded history.
  • A virus has been found in the sick sea stars but this virus has been around for at least 72 years (was isolated in preserved sea stars). A stressor (or stressors) must be reducing the resistance of the sea stars to the virus.Virus is “Sea Star associated Densovirus” (SSaDV) (Hewson, et al  www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/11/12/1416625111.abstract ).
  • A correlation was found between increased temperature and death in sea stars but that other factors are likely play a role as well (Eisenlord, et al  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4760142).
  • Another study found that the disease…

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About Chris Parsons

Science writer/educator exploring nature and sharing via words, images, data and stories — to connect, inspire and conserve.
This entry was posted in California coastline, Monterey Bay and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Wasted. What is happening to the sea stars of the NE Pacific Ocean?

  1. Agreed – excellent information


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