Underwater Footage Reveals ‘Melting’ Sea Star Epidemic

Mikael Thalen
by
November 25th, 2013
Updated 11/25/2013 at 4:07 am

Newly released underwater footage from the Pacific Northwest reveals the true extent of the melting sea star epidemic currently spreading along the west coast of North America.

Dead/Dying seastars in West Seattle (with opening footage to show same site last year) from Laura James on Vimeo.

Following the discovery of melting Sunflower sea stars off the coast of California, Washington state and Canada, videographer and underwater explorer Laura James uncovered well over 100 dead sea stars washed up on the beach in West Seattle’s Brace Point area earlier this month. After diving into the water to investigate, James reveals to Storyleak just how devastating the die-off has become.

“I’d heard that the sea stars were dying en mass but 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.”

James’ footage, which begins by showing unaffected sea starts in the same area a year prior, reveals that multiple sea star species have begun to literally disintegrate, despite earlier reports of only one species being affected.

“The Sunflower sea stars were the first to die, and it happened very fast. The Ochre and Mottled sea stars are now dying and these are the bodies you see piling up,” James said.

All stages of the melting process can be seen throughout the footage, beginning with a strange loss of coordination and inability to grasp onto objects, before the insides and limbs begin to fall apart, adding to the numerous white piles of melted sea star remains.

“As we were swimming along we also noted torn off legs from Sunflower stars strewn about, like the starfish had just been cruising along and one leg after another stopped working,” James said.

Controlled experiments in the late 1960s, which removed sea stars from Washington state’s Mukkaw Bay, produced a dramatic decrease in species diversity as hypothesized. Given the sea stars’ now evident role as a keystone species linked to maintaining ecological balance, many worry the die-off could begin the chain reaction, massively devastating the biodiversity of the entire west coast.

“The key here is citizen scientists helping to do the wide spread documentation and an involved public that can make its voice heard, push for answers, and not let this just become yesterdays news,” James said.

Although the cause has yet to be determined, speculations now range from a simple disease or parasite to the continued dumping of hundreds of tons of highly radioactive water into the ocean from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Unexplained sicknesses and death from species all across the west coast since the beginning of Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster have increased the public’s fear that the situation’s true danger is being kept under wraps.

As far back as early 2012, nuclear radiation from the Fukushima power plant was being detected in bluefin tuna off California’s coast. Months earlier, cesium-137 was being found in almost all Japanese seafood being sold in Canada, with 100 percent of seaweed, carp, monkfish and shark showing detectable levels. Even with Japanese scientists finding high cesium levels in plankton all across the Pacific, the FDA has continued to claim that there is no need to test any seafood.

August of this year, Canadian biologists near Vancouver Island discovered herring bleeding out of their eyes and gill, while members of Canada’s aboriginal community began simultaneously reporting historically low Skeena River sockeye salmon returns.

“We hope to get out and document more sites… so we can also document the changes in biodiversity that are likely to occur,” James said in closing.

As the melting sea star phenomenon continues its downward trend, James plans to continue her research in hopes that others will join.

Share Button

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Global, Health, US

Mikael Thalen

About the Author ()

Mikael is the lead features writer at Storyleak.com. His articles have been featured on sites such as the Drudge Report, Infowars and Natural News. During his time at Examiner.com, he was frequently ranked the number one political writer.

Comments (49)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. paul says:

    is this a promo for fukushima? the cedar and other trees are dying also in the span of one year. what's up with the chem spraying dingoberry?

  2. Roger says:

    Has Fukushima radiation reached the places where the melting is happening? Is there radioactive testing on the carcasses?

    I would love to see the connection laid out and the dots connected so that it can't be refuted.

    • Mikael Thalen Mikael Thalen says:

      Radiation has been detected all along the west coast since at least 2011. Currently several of the Sunflower sea stars from Canada and other areas of Washington are being tested in labs on the east coast. Apparently it could take weeks or months to get the results.

    • Mikey says:

      I couldnt even watch passed two mins, just brought tears to my eyes and made me sick to my stomach. Truly disgusting that this vile and repugnant excuse for a government too, is just going to downplay all of it and keep vomiting up the same excuses that ‘everything is fine’ when it clearly is not fine.

      But then again, these are just part of the signs JC warned about…in the end, its all inevitable.

    • frgough says:

      One. This looks nothing like radiation poisoning. Two, any radiation strong enough to kill sea stars would make your oceans glow blue at night, and would kill any human entering the water in about 30 minutes.

  3. pamwitch says:

    I dove and witnessed the before regions. If this is occurring now, it is horrifying! Something must be done

  4. WeeToddEdwards says:

    What else could it be from?

  5. Hopefully that will come soon

  6. crazy world says:

    There is no doubt this is from fukishima , its truly unreal that cleaning that site up asap is not the priority of every government on this planet, using every resource possible. this is a crime , and it just continues to be covered up just like everything else in government. sickening, our children will be next!

    • FR Gough says:

      Invertebrates are thousands of times more resistant to radiation than humans. If Fukashima were causing this, every diver off the west coast would be dead thirty minutes after going into the water.

      The anti nuclear crowd are some of the most ignorant bigmouths you'll ever meet. You can pretty much guarantee the truth being 100% opposite of anything they say.

      • Notborn Yesterday. says:

        Ah. It must be just coincidence, eh?

        Consider though, the diver doesn't have total skin contact with the water, and he's not IN the water 24/7. He breathes air from a tank – not radiation-contaminated water. His diet doesn't consist 100% of other organisms also living 24/7 in the water.

        Consider also: You have divided the community in two: the pro and anti-nuclear crowd, and you have labelled the side YOU disagree with as "ignorant bigmouths". Well, in lioght of the ongoing and worsening disaster that is Fukushima, the still ongoing disaster of Chernobyl, and the current nuclear waste disaster in America, what a pity it is that the ignorant bigmouths weren't listened to sooner!

  7. I have been trying to expose an answer to the mystery of the100 Miles per gallon fuel systems. Yes 5 times the fuel mileage is possible but missed or suppressed by oil companies for over 80 years and we have the patents and the science to prove it, see the evidence we have now at website (no spaces) him acre search dot com other sites with similar info are Byron wine dot com Rex research dot com More than vapor but refining gasoline into natural gas and methanol yes 200 mpg 4 cylinder

    I guess because I put out the info on 5 times the fuel mileage for free on my web site. I have been exposed to many Alleged Cures for cancer that appear they have been suppressed like 100 MPG as crazy as that sounds. Speaking of sounds there was a Dr Raymond Rife in 1930 s that used frequency and had great success and many devices have since been used successfully allegedly. For free file, 27 listed 3.8 megs just e mail Bruce “at” him acre search dot com ask cancer file and feel free to pass on

  8. Ian says:

    You are propagating another internet hoax. What are the credentials of this person and do they know what they are talking about? Here’s another story on the subject with a very different conclusion
    http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-west-coast-radiation-20140113,0,4048380.story#axzz2qQTuHxxd

  9. Jakob says:

    Thank you for the article. I'm from austria so excuse my imperfect writing grammarwise… I'm trying to read as much as pissible about this development in california and i wonder: it all those people on the west coast are so concerned about the higher radiation levels why isnt there more information about how ecactly people from villages and cities near fukushima/daichii have reacted in the last 2 years? I mean all this radiation made its way through the pacific ocean, i get that…. But why arent people in california (or professionals, scientists) comparing it to the effects in the coastal area around fukushima! Wouldnt that be a pretty acurate comparison… Radiation wont hit th us westcoast as hard as japans coast though… Maybe someone could tell me something about that… Because I have not come across one article about fukushimas neighnourhood villages/cities… Thank you and all the best

  10. Nice post and really good to read this kind of informative post. it's pleasure to see this blog.

  11. Great post and really useful one. you shared on astounding info to read. thanks for sharing

  12. Chennai Balaji Travels Organizes a complete one day group traveling packages wholly & Separate car packages from Chennai to Tirupati

  13. smith says:

    Did that ship ever get free from the ice?

  14. Wendy R says:

    I cherish such a wonderful names and paper administrations accessible and let the help understudies in nature of studies PoweredEssays coupon codes and we additionally deal with the understudies assignments and diverse lives up to expectations.

  15. toko buku says:

    The most important job for Seascape crew members is removing the algae that collects on the new coral. Depletion of the island’s algae-grazing fish, combined with an unexplained die off of algae-grazing sea urchins, led the previous coral to choke under algae grown out of control. So part of Seascape’s daily routine involves doing the work that nature used to do.

  16. Nathan says:

    Nice post. Thanks for sharing.

  17. WeeToddEdwards says:

    How sad. What a pathetic life they must have

  18. Roger says:

    Do you realize this is a site dedicated to serious discussion on serious topics?

    Perhaps that is the kind of comments that don't get pulled.

  19. WeeToddEdwards says:

    I don't have comments pulled. Cowards do that

  20. Alinsky Hero USA says:

    I was talking about Wee's thanksgiving with his family and sudden;y someone had my comment pulled.

    Was it you? why would you do that, I wasn't even talking to you.

    The thread is about the holidays and I was having a serious talk about holiday spent with family or girlfriends.

    What is wrong with that?

  21. Alinsky Hero USA says:

    Cool. I'm sure it wasn't you.

    someone seems ultra sensitive to any mention of a wife or girlfriend.

    Creepy stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *