Wasting Disease Devastates West Coast Starfish

StarfishDiseaseMarine scientists are finding large numbers of starfish along the West Coast, dying from a  disease known as ‘sea star wasting syndrome.’

The first symptoms include an emaciated appearance and white lesions on the ectoderm. Within a matter of days, afflicted starfish begin to lose their characteristic arms, leading to their disintegration into what some observers have described as “goo.”

While several sea star species have been affected Pisaster ochraceus, also known as the ochre sea star, has been particularly hard hit. In some tide pool populations up to 95 percent of this species have died from the disease.

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