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‘Melting’ Sea Star Epidemic Reaches Oregon Coast

Scientists announced the discovery of “melting” sea stars off the coast of Oregon this week, the state’s first known sighting of the mysterious condition that began appearing throughout West Coast waters last year.

Image: Sea Star (Oregon Coast Aquarium).
Image: Sea Star (Oregon Coast Aquarium).

According to Jim Burke, Oregon Coast Aquarium’s director of animal husbandry and dive operations, several species of sea star in Yaquina Bay were recently found in the advanced wasting stage.

“One could speculate that it’s just beginning and will continue to be detrimental to the sea star population,” Burke told the Statesman Journal.

Oregon now joins California, Washington state and Western Canada, where disintegrating sea stars continue to baffle scientists.

“There’s a lot of scientists and researchers still scratching their heads,” Burke said.

Others such as Kristen Milligan, program coordinator for the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans, noted the severity of the situation as well.

“The current outbreak along the West Coast is ‘true’ wasting disease, meaning that sea stars have these extreme symptoms while in suitable ‘healthy’ habitat,” Milligan said.

Oregon Coast Aquarium divers will be joined by experts at the University of California at Santa Cruz to begin weekly surveys of two effected dive sites. Although samples from other states have been sent to several labs for analysis, a conclusive cause has yet to be determined according to researchers.

Last November, Storyleak spoke with veteran videographer and underwater explorer Laura James, who discovered more than 100 melting sea stars in the waters of West Seattle.

“We don’t know what is causing it,” James said. “The sea stars that are dying are apex predators of the seafloor and a keystone species. What will be interesting is what will happen to the biodiversity now in the aftermath.”

Underwater footage captured by James first revealed just how devastating the die-off had become, with some scientists calling it one of the worst ever recorded.

“This was beyond my imagination,” James said. “It was like carnage or a mass grave. Dead and dying sea stars, body on top of body.”

While scientists have remained tight-lipped on possible causes, the public continues to question the die-off’s link to the ongoing nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. Given radiation’s ability to bio-accumulate in sea life, other recent anomalies such as the sardine population’s historic decline have many worried.

Just as researchers at the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems in Spain predicted, increasing amounts of radiation have begun accumulating along the West Coast since the beginning of 2014. Although sea life such as Tuna have been contaminated with “low levels” of nuclear radiation from swimming through the pacific since at least 2012, scientists analyzing kelp off the coast of San Diego confirmed the presence of cesium earlier this year.

The recent discovery of “never before seen” conjoined gray whale calves off the coast of Northern Mexico has also sparked increased debate. While scientists continue to downplay the situation in Japan, a fuel fragment from Fukushima just found in Norway has proven the situation to be much more disastrous than previously thought.

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About Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is an investigative journalist covering foreign policy, information security and digital surveillance. His reports have been cited by sites such as the New York Times, Computerworld, International Business Times and the Drudge Report. How to contact Mikael securely:

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  1. Why is it that I get the feeling this administration can't be trusted on anything?

    And why is it that the media ignores so much this administration would find inconvenient?

  2. Of course it has nothing to do related to Fukushima.

    Global Warming is the culprit.

    /heavy sarc.

    • Alinsky Hero USA

      Actually it IS because of global warming.

      • No.
        It is not.

        Granted, those on the Left like to portray anyone who does not believe in Global Warming as Flat Earthers or merely crazy, the fact of the matter is, is that there is no conclusive science to factually substantiate anything about Global Warming, other than it is flawed theory. The real fact of the matter is, is that those on the Left who believe in Global Warming like a Religion are the ones who are indeed crazy.

  3. Instead of covering it up, why don't they just come clean?

    Our government has to go

  4. Mar 11, 2014 Fox News Admits Fukushima Radiation Is Hitting North America!

    Is Fukushima Radiation Contaminating Tuna, Salmon and Herring On the West Coast of North America?

    • Alinsky Hero USA

      You believe that crap? Since when do scientists know anything? You might as well believe in global warming.

      • I am simply providing data that I have from my personal research. Does radiation magically disappear by itself? Are does it ever? How is Chernobyl doing in Russia these days and years later?

        • Alinsky Hero USA

          I am being sarcastic. Of course that radiation is hitting us, or is going to very soon. Hawaii is going to be destroyed.

          But these star fish are probably dying due to global warming.

          • Global warming myth has been busted. You need to retrieve real information from multiple resources worldwide!

            Chinese icebreaker stuck after Antarctic rescue? January 03, 2014

            Global Warming? Number of 100 Degree Days In U.S. During 2013 Lowest In Last 100 Years…Global Warming, what a snow job! Antarctic sea ice hit 35-year record high, September 23 2013

            Global Warming? Temperature Up 'Very Close to Zero' Over 15 Years June 24, 2013

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            You believe in science when it is convenient for you and your conspiracy theories designed to smear Obama.

            When scientists tell you the facts about global warming, you go back into your bubble of denial.

            Global warming is a fact.

          • Where is your data from mainstream resources like I have provided?

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            I don't need to waste time on your ridiculous propaganda. I have posted tons of links of data. You ignore the 99.9% on scientists that have already proven global warming is a fact.

          • All of that 99.9% propaganda has lost all effect. You folks need to verify all things. I do!

            Charlie Brown Teacher Speaking

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Nope. That 99.9% is battling a never ending battle with the stupidity of people like you.

            But of course you believe them if they use that same science to detect radiation for your conspiracy BS.

          • You need to adjust your tin foil hat. You are having radio frequency issues apparently! Once again, where is your data from mainstream resources like I have provided?

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Radio waves don't hurt our brains. If you knew any science, you would know that.

          • Here is what your party rep. at he EPA said. Do you agree with him? Will it have an impact on prices? EPA Official: EPAs "philosophy" is to "crucify" and "make examples" of US energy producers

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Radio waves can hurt your brain, BTW. I was hoping you would check the science behind it.

            I totally agree with the EPAs actions to combat the stupidity of global warming deniers making big money off the murder of the population.

          • Climate Depot’s Marc Morano takes on “the climate change con” at CFACT’s all day climate conference at Warsaw’s Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, November 21, 2013.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Al Gore….shows the science.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            That's right Al Gore, suck on it. He is a hero.

            And he won the 2000 election.

            You stole the election and deny science.

          • I did not steal the election.
            Shrub did.

            I do not deny science. Science is proven theory.
            Global Warming is not proven.

          • He also claimed to invent the internet which I am sure you drank up with your kool-aid!

            Statement of Purpose
            Prospering Lives. Promoting Progress. Protecting the Earth.

            In 1985, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) was founded to promote a positive voice on environment and development issues. Its co-founders, David Rothbard and Craig Rucker, believed very strongly that the power of the market combined with the applications of safe technologies could offer humanity practical solutions to many of the world’s pressing concerns. A number of leading scientists, academics, and policy leaders would also agree with them and soon joined their effort, along with thousands of citizens from around the country.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            He did invent the internet, stupid. He pushed it through congress.

          • You lost and went straight name calling. Typical child reaction. How old are you now?

          • At least this time he can't blame me for the thread being derailed.

          • She lost her slipper some where and had to look for her prince charming.

          • He couldn't … until you had to open your fool mouth.

          • Yep.
            Just like a child in kindergarten.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Wasn't name calling, you really are stupid.

          • That's right Al Gore, suck on it. He is a hero. CORRECTION (ZERO)

          • Al Gore is the greatest fraud ever.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            How's the view over there on the wrong side of history?

          • Alinsky, what little respect I had for you, just went right down the tubes.

            It is settled science that Al Gore is the greatest fraud and con artist in history.

            You did not know that?

            Didn't you get the memo?

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Al Gore has made a fool of the conservative agenda to spread propaganda to dismiss global warming.

            Al Gore should be President.

          • President of what?

            He is too white to be president of the NCAA-CP..

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Vintage HPD racism.

            I win.

          • The only thing that Al Gore pushed through Congress, was a broom.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            He is saving the planet from idiots like you.

          • Sabing de planet?

            De ony ting dats he be sabing, is sabing de plantation for ijits like u!

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            A racist and a global warming denier.

            Having fun in Roger's world?

            Don't drink the Jesus Juice.

          • Look Alinsky.

            The first line from the Wiki definition related to your boy Al Gores Gorean theory.

            "Goreans are, all too often, nutters who have taken the works of a science fiction author way too seriously."

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Did you and Roger hold hands?

          • I have never held any of Rogers appendages.

          • You're giving him way too much credit

          • Radio waves?

            I would be interested on your opinion on chemtrails.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Chemtrails are BS.

          • I've seen chemtrails.

            I've never "seen" global warming.

            Now that we are talking about it, I've never seen Caspar the Friendly Ghost, or Jesus either.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Chem trails aren't doing anything harmful. You have seen global warming, stupid.

            You saw Hurricanes, a polar vortex, tornadoes, and rising sea levels.

            Watch Al Gore's movie. Get educated.

          • Hurricanes, polar vortexes, tornadoes and rising sea levels?

            Who is to say that they did not exist long before man ever slithered out of the deep and set foot on the planet.

            Can you prove differently?

            The science is not settled.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            You just replied in the exact same style as Roger.

            You repeated the question and then asked a stupid question and then asked for proof of your stupid question.

            Roger is commenting under a guest profile.

          • Nope, I'm saying very little so the site admins can see that my warnings about the posse trolls was right all along.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            All of your thousands of trolling comments are already recorded. You can't trick the admins by posting under guest profiles and pretending you aren't commenting here.

          • Global Warming is not a fact.
            It is flawed and failed Gorean Theory.

            It isn't even called Global Warming anymore Alinsky.

            It is referred to by the politically correct as Climate Change….

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            You are ridiculous.

            Global warming is a fact. Just as the Earth is round,but too bad the Earth has idiots like you running around.

            Climate Change is the same thing as Global Warming, stupid.

    • And none of this is provided by the government so that people can avoid future health issues.

      At the same time they work to impose restrictions in healthcare to lower costs.

      It's diabolical how government is working against the people they should be serving.

  5. Alinsky Hero USA

    I posted this on Left Right Center, but Roger reported it and all my other comments.

    So I will now report all his comments on Left Right Center.

    Roger just can't help himself, so now has to pay for his BTK attitude.

    Roger is so fing stupid. He thought Jefferson didn't pay tribute, he thought Reagan was a Republican while president on SAG, he thought the pigs Jesus killed were owned by Jewish farmers, and he lied about reporting Wee's comments on Belfast.

    He is just a troll. A tool. A lonely virgin that had his marriage annulled.

    And he paid 1500 dollars for a lawsuit that was dismissed because he was too stupid to get our names BEFORE filing in court.

    So of course his BS stupidity about global warming is just an act.

  6. Alinsky Hero USA

    Roger @ Left, Right & Cent… – DC Drama, Ukraine, Nig… 22 minutes ago · 0 replies · +1 points

    pulled every night.

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  16. This is so strange. Melting sea star, dead fish… And the scientist are busy with contacting with aliens, who they don't know whether exists or not.

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