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: August 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)
  • 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). There is a stressor that is likely 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 also progressed when temperatures have decreased. (Menge, et al  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0157302

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About Chris Parsons

Science writer/educator exploring ocean coastlines and sharing via words, photos 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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