Science in Action this Week: November 22, 2013

Starfish Die-Off

Learn about the disease that is causing massive starfish die-offs on the west coast and how you can help monitor starfish and their ecosystems.


  • DJ

    Could the radiation in the water from Fukushima which is now arriving along our western coast have something to do with the star fish die off?

  • marine scientist 11

    Good question! It would seem unlikely that the radiation would target a particular species or even group as narrow as sea stars. Radiation is more likely to have long-term community affects as it “bioaccumulates” (as it moves up the food chain) and though it would affect different species in different ways, you’d expect the effect to be more broad than what we are seeing here. The best guess is that this wasting disease is likely a virus or bacterium as mentioned in the video… though, as far as I know, no one has isolated the pathogen.

  • Hnnah


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