Prevalence of diseases that are turning sea stars to mush and killing lobsters by burrowing under their shells and causing lesions, two new studies say.
(From the Washington Post /by ) — The outbreaks are so lethal, according to a biologist involved in both studies, that at least one species of sea star has vanished off the coasts of Washington and British Columbia and the lobster fishery, already decimated in southern New England, will likely be threatened in Maine.
In the Pacific, a wasting disease is blamed for the disappearance of the technicolor sunflower sea star. It’s also laying waste to the ochre sea star that scientists at Cornell University, the University of Puget Sound and Northeastern University, as well as other institutions, examined for the latest research. Their reports were published this week.
Numerous climate studies have shown that the oceans are warming. In addition, 30 percent of the carbon released into the atmosphere ends up there, leading to acidification that’s further destroying coral, shell life and other organisms.