SF Chronicle: Fukushima radiation possible culprit in huge starfish die off from Mexico to Alaska — Potential catastrophe, it’s extremely virulent “going on up and down coast… It’s going to change what’s out there pretty fundamentally”

Monday, December 9, 2013
By Paul Martin

ENENews.com
December 9th, 2013

San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 9, 2013: A mysterious pathogen is wiping out starfish along the Pacific coast, a potential catastrophe that has flummoxed marine biologists [...] [They're] disappearing from large areas along the coast [...] Nobody knows what is causing the die-off, but the killer – most likely some kind of virus, bacteria or pollutant – is widespread and extremely virulent. It has ravaged a variety of starfish species in tide pools and in deeper water along the coast from Mexico to Alaska. [...] The disease has spread from the shoreline into deeper water [...] The disease has even found its way through the filtration system of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which uses sea water in its tanks [and] cannot keep out natural impurities. “There is something going on in the water,” [Michael Murray, the director of veterinary services] said.

UC Santa Cruz professor Pete Raimondi, marine biologist and lead researcher: “Where it has hit, it has been pretty lethal [...] This is going on up and down the coast. … It’s going to change what’s out there pretty fundamentally. [...] It’s dying in huge numbers [...] We’ve seen them go from a lot to zero fast. [...] The ones that get it first are all predators [...] It just started, so we don’t know yet what it is going to do [...] The theory is that there is going to be a fundamental shift [in the balance of sea life] [...] Usually it is pretty obvious what is causing it. None of those factors exist [...] I don’t think it’s the end. We see it in more and more sites.”

According to the Chronicle, a possible culprit is radiation from the Fukushima disaster

[M]arine biologists who are joining forces to find the culprit [...] they are looking for marine biotoxins and viruses and exploring a variety of possible sources, including radiation from the debris that washed across the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima disaster. “We’re not throwing anything out yet,” Raimondi said.

The Rest…HERE

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