Starfish populations on both coasts of the United States are dying in large numbers from disease.
Starfish populations on both coasts of the United States are dying in large numbers from an unknown disease.
This is the first time that starfish on the west coast are experiencing the devastating effects of the disease that melts away their flesh, but researchers on the east coast are seeing the continuation to a dying off that started in 2010.
According to Donna Gibbs, a diver and taxonomist at the Vancouver Aquarium: “Their flesh deteriorates and there’s nothing to hold them together. That’s as technical as it gets right now.”
The cause of the disease has not been identified,but it is seasonally effective to starfish, and reportedly occurs in the autumn and spring time temperatures.
Researchers think that the die off might be caused by a combination of rising ocean temperatures and a new virus or bacteria that seems to be spreading among the populations of starfish in the US.
Starfish populations off the coast of California have experienced mass deaths before, but the current rate of disease spreading among the starfish on both coasts is alarming to experts.
Researchers from the University of Rhode Island and Brown University that are observing the effects of the disease say that although some starfish can recover, most of them die.