Scientists reveal details of unprecedented mass mortality on West Coast that began summer 2011 — “Many millions” of deaths before sea star wasting syndrome — Multiple species wiped out in days — Mortality rate of 99.99% over large region — “No documented event has been so severe”

Published: June 4th, 2015 at 12:30 pm ET
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Univ. of California (Davis), Jun 3, 2015 (emphasis added): In August 2011, scientists at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory walked into their labs to a strange, disturbing sight: Thousands of purple sea urchins and other marine invertebrates were dead in their tanks, which are fed directly by seawater. [The] ocean washed up carcasses of red abalone, large sea stars, and football-sized, snail-like chitons… even more heavily impacted as a population were the millions of purple sea urchins and tiny sea stars that died along a 62-mile stretch of coast… “We might not have known urchins and six-armed sea stars were affected if lab-held animals hadn’t died right in front of us,” said the study’s lead author Laura Jurgens… “We’re expecting real ecological changes in how these tide pools operate”… this die-off was fast, wiping out these two species in as little as a few days. The die-off also occurred about two years before [observance of] sea star wasting syndrome

Santa Cruz Sentinel, Jun 3, 2015: [It was] a grim scene, with dead red abalone, purple sea urchins and tiny sea stars rotting across the Northern California shoreline… the same carnage [took place] at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab… scientists tallied almost 100 percent mortality of purple sea urchins and six-armed sea stars throughout the 62-mile study area… Researchers found only 10 purple sea urchins in the area once home to millions

Study by scientists from CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, Bodega Marine Lab, UC Davis/Santa Cruz/Merced, Jun 3, 2015: Patterns of Mass Mortality among Rocky Shore Invertebrates across 100 km of Northeastern Pacific Coastline — In late August 2011, formerly abundant intertidal populations of the purple sea urchin [and] six-armed sea star were functionally extirpated from ~100 km of coastline… studies by others indicated moderate to severe impacts on… red sea urchin… and red abalone… There were no obvious physical stressors (e.g., a storm, heavy rainfall)… we did not find a single six-armed star at these six locations… Ochre sea stars and gumboot chitons also experienced elevated mortality… We found only ten surviving intertidal purple urchins out of a prior regional population we estimate at many millions…. [The] mortality rate was therefore >99.99% over 100 km[N]o previously documented mortality event has been so severe over such a large region… its sudden onset [is] a pattern that is rare in marine systems… typically [it takes] several months or years… [W]e cannot unambiguously ascribe the current die-off to a particular cause or set of causes… A disease outbreak is plausible… The most likely cause… appears to be a toxin produced by phytoplankton… yessotoxins have not previously been known as lethal… the possibility remains that unidentified species and/or toxin(s) were responsible.

Press Democrat (Sonoma), Feb 2014: Biologists were initially stumped by the die-off, which stunned local divers and was erroneously attributed to a red tide. The cause has since been identified as a bloom of microscopic algae called Gonyaulax membranacea, which produce a toxin called yessotoxin…

Watch a video documenting the 2011 mass mortality event here

Published: June 4th, 2015 at 12:30 pm ET
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Related Posts

  1. Reports: Sea stars decimated on West Coast — SoCal ravaged as mystery disease spreads south; Saw hundreds last year, now none… got hit really hard — Mortality event like this never before documented — “Uncharted waters… likes of which we haven’t seen” — Turning to ‘bacterial goop’ (RADIO) April 5, 2014
  2. Gov’t reports “big, big decline” in Alaska caribou — “Mortality very high” after Fukushima releases began — “Low survival rate” for calves also in 2011 and 2012 — Official: “Worrisome” how quickly this happened… In truth, we don’t have an answer why (AUDIO) July 23, 2014
  3. “Sea creatures sick, dying or disappearing at alarming rate all along Pacific coast… Some wonder if it’s fallout from Fukushima” — New York Times: “Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction” — Study: “We may be on precipice of major extinction event” in marine wildlife (VIDEO) January 18, 2015
  4. CBS: This is really disturbing, sea stars dying by the millions on West Coast — Like the Black Death, only faster and deadlier — ‘Mystery plague’ affecting 20+ species — TV: Disappears from Orange County coast over 2 week period — Expert: “Largest epidemic ever in ocean… Something has changed in marine environment to lead to this” (VIDEO) July 29, 2014
  5. ‘Marine Mystery’ in California: “Toxic outbreak threatening marine life” — Birds falling from sky, sea lions convulsing — “Worst they’ve ever seen” — Toxin hits record level, almost 1,000% above gov’t limit — Heart lesions, severe shrinking in part of brain, nervous system failure (VIDEO) May 3, 2014

246 comments to Scientists reveal details of unprecedented mass mortality on West Coast that began summer 2011 — “Many millions” of deaths before sea star wasting syndrome — Multiple species wiped out in days — Mortality rate of 99.99% over large region — “No documented event has been so severe”

  • Nick

    Then there are the INTENTIONAL toxins spread throughout the foodchain by
    farmers, like glyphosphate.

    "So, essentially, that oat-based, heart-healthy breakfast that you and your children may be eating for breakfast is likely not so heart-healthy anyway, and worse, is contaminated with glyphosate. Sickening."


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  • mrutopian mrutopian

    Why do the pyscopaths need nuclear power?
    In order to have a world empire they need energy. Because they need population growth for cheap labor and to keep the demand for realestate, food and goods and services up. Anyone with half a brain knows man will overpopulate the planet soon.
    All this is made possible by phony money (fiat currency). Buy land with MONOPOLY money and other hard assests like gold, oil, diamonds… There isn't enough real money backed by anything of worth to make globalism possible, so Nixon took us off the gold standard in 1970.
    We need a max. income, campaign finance limits, communal raising of children, forced birth control, fairtrade, no immigration, prison reform (legalize drugs, floggings and penal colonies), poorfarms and socialized medicine if America is to survive.
    All that will be left is global warming, radiation, toxic chemicals and overpopulation, when the money becomes worthless. The job creators are traitorous robber barons.

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  • Dick Shenary

    In 1869 Henry Morton Stanley was sent by the New York Herald to find Dr. David Livingstone who at the time was lost in Africa while trying to find the source of the Nile River. Dr. Livingstone although being very sick with Malaria at the time refused to give up the search for the sources of the Nile. Modern explorers are currently trying to find the sources of Fukushima denial. There are many possible sources with the main source being FUNDING. If you control the funding sources, you can control what scientists will report and the methodology of their research. This tactic appears to be almost completely successful in the world of marine biology. Currently billions of dollars circulates through the enormous UC system here in California. This money is the rod or whip used to prevent any staff from reporting shall we say “undesired” evidence. The carrot is that if you comply, you get to keep your job or continue your funding. This stinks to high heaven from a scientific point of view. Dr. Livingstone had similar science/religion issues going for on for him but refused to give up the search for unbiased knowledge. Somewhere, there is a professor, now probably retired, who is not muted by funding issues and is not afraid to speak the truth as she or he perceives it. Until I can locate this person, I will use the well known quote “Dr. Livingstone I presume”. – Yessotoxins are the latest guess as to the Pacific Ocean’s troubles as UC scientists continue to unearth theories while…

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  • Dick Shenary

    completely avoiding the Mastodon in the room known as FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI.

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  • OT: well kinda…question is how to get good food at reasonable cost and control pesticides and radiation.

    Also avoids any country of origin questions

    Grow it yourself, this is my garden, a quick pictorial

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  • Fukushima Released Massive Amounts of Plutonium; Being Found In Japan, The Pacific Ocean And Inside Many US Cities; via @AGreenRoad

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  • Plutonium-238 From Fukushima Traveled Around The World – ‘Misleading’ Experts Said It Would Stay Close By, Or Did Not Happen; via @AGreenRoad

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  • A dying Bronto can still kill you on the way down

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  • demise

    Regarding the issue of over population, we have already passed the tipping point. If everyone stopped reproducing today, the world has about 20 years of resources remaining. Of course the reality is we are adding 230K to the population PER DAY! That's about more than 80M a year.

    We really have about 10 years left ideally. Now that we have severe drought in major population centers, i.e. Southwest US, San Paulo Brazil region, Australia, Western China, we have another game changer in store. The lose of the Pacific ecosystem, highlighted by dozens of mass die-offs, will mean the loss of the largest food source on the planet. This alone will change our way of life.

    Do not expect any seafood on the shelf next summer except if from the Atlantic Ocean. Pacific seafood is already too contaminated to safely eat. Long before we will be realize that calamity is the debt bubble bust. This will make 'too big to fail' not applicable this time around and the total domino effect. I predict the radiation poisoning stonewalling and opaque White House all points to a world collapse before the end of 2015. Be well and prepare earnestly. The writing is on the wall and the people in the know have already leaked the bad news. The govt and very rich are preparing quietly, but vigorously. You should too.

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  • Atavist

    I don't post much because you folks cover the issues very well. Dick Shenary and all of you are right on as I see it. To test for specific radioactivities one needs to smarten up on gamma spectography, a geiger counter isn't accurate enough. Big word but the cost to set up is less than $2G. You need a voltage control ($300)( and an NaL(Ti) scintillator probe from Tom at iradinc or similar ($500 up). The computer you obviously have and the programs to run the whole mess are free online (see The lead shield can be sheet lead or whatever-lots of info when you look. You are going to end up measuring electron voltages which are specific to each radioactive element, and understand radioactive breakdowns. AND you are going to prove when the talking heads lips are moving they are lying….

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    • Shaker1

      Good morning, Madam! We're going door to door today to let you know of this offer from The American Cancer Society outside their
      normal avenues for contribution. Yes, as economic difficulties press Americans hard attempting to make ends meet, we're giving you another opportunity to financially support financially support the fat cats in the medical industry. We ask you to please open your browser and your heart. Visit the site below, and consider if you can find it in your heart to take advantage of this offer. And, remember…a full .001% of all profits go to helping those with cancer live full and meaningful lives throughout the US and the world (except those nations who
      are subject to sanctions). Don't you want to know how much tritium is in your water? Don't you wish to have the ability to measure how you and your family will suffer, bequerel by bequerel. Wouldn't it be fun for the family guessing just how much each of you can tolerate? Just which one of you will reach stage 4 fastest?

      This offer is unique. Please find it in your heart to give by buying one of these used liquid scintillation counters! In return, along with your purchase, we'll include a magnetic pink ribbon so you can proudly proclaim your support from the door of your refrigerator! With your purchase we'll automatically enter you in a drawing whose grand prize is the cancer surgery, radiation treatment, or chemo of your choice! The life
      you save likey won't be your own!


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  • pi pi

    Will gamma spectroscopy find tritium strontium and plutonium uranium ?
    Which type of scintillator probes are best? I heard energy level 600-800 was best for Cs 137 but I don't understand about how many probes one needs. If you switch probes the calibration is off and temperature issues for some probes also right?

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  • Bungalow Phil Bungalow Phil

    There is a growing disenfranchisement that plays in important role in and why we place such high confidence in science. And well how that plays into the discoveries and muted peer review papers that hold little value in accelerating the knowledge base of humanity. I am not as religious as say some here but I do hold the belief that we are a created world and all that is seen is part of the grand illusion for our benefit.

    The belief and proof of geocentrism vs heliocentrism is causing quite a stir if you choose to entertain the thought. Having viewed and read on the subject I find that the science is quite dubious. Further there are convincing arguments that Einstein is a fraud and his theory plays a huge role in perpetuating the myth of heliocentric universe. Religious or not one has to at least consider that if true and we have a geocentric model then the whole of science would be resoundly questioned at every turn. Rather than buoyed to a level of unquestioned authority it would falter to a mystery laden practice while models of creation would be vaulted to higher status.

    How does this fit in with the current status of science and moon and mars missions and battling Daiichi scenarios? Well it would put it in it's proper place. The science would have to admit it is clueless in developing solutions to its own creations. Authority would defer to creation and spirituality-people not artifacts of creation. Maybe a new world order but not the one we thought.

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  • Bungalow Phil Bungalow Phil

    For an explanation and further reading on the subject of the Copernican model/conspiracy-


    Interview with Rick Delano – The Principle

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  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    With almost absolute certainty what fell in the oceans also fell on the land. We see what it most assuredly is responsible for on the west coast of the North America Continent. This is gonna suck……

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  • an older song, but so appropriately fitting for mourning the mighty blue pacific.

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  • rogerthat

    Following up this article.. Volcanic island in South of Tokyo increasing volcanic ash [URL]

    On 5/22/2015, the Maritime Safety Agency reported the color of seawater is changing offshore the volcanic island.

    In their aerial survey carried out on 5/20/2015, the seawater was observed to be turning to be pale yellow-green in 4000m and 2000m area, where is in South West offshore of the island.

    Prof. Nogami from Tokyo Inst. of Technology, who attended the aerial survey, comments there is a possibility that magma is becoming increasingly actively rising underground.

    He added it won’t explosively erupt soon, however seawater has turned to be dark brown also in 1000m and 500m area of South East side of the island. Additionally, pale yellow-green color of seawater was spreading in 400m and 800m area of North and South side of the island.

    The island is still erupting 2-3 times a minute. The island is still growing in S-E direction.

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  • rogerthat

    JUN 6, 2015

    FUKUSHIMA – Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki told Fukushima Prefecture leaders Friday that the central government plans to nationalize a private facility intended for the disposal of relatively low radioactive waste in the prefecture.

    In a meeting with Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori and others, Mochizuki also said the government plans to launch a new subsidy program for revising the local economy.

    The ministry was to utilize the facility, which handles industrial waste, for the final disposal of such radioactive waste under an outsourcing contract, but it accepted the local demand for the nationalization.

    Uchibori said in the meeting that he welcomes the ministry’s policy.

    Koichi Miyamoto, mayor of the town of Tomioka where the facility is located, was understanding of the ministry’s move.

    The facility will be used for the final disposal of waste tainted with radioactive materials released from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

    It will accept waste with radioactivity levels of up to 100,000 becquerels per kilogram.

    Waste and soil with higher radioactivity levels are to be kept at an interim storage facility, which will be constructed at a site straddling the towns of Okuma and Futaba.

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  • rogerthat

    JUN 5, 2015

    In what one commentator said was a prod at nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Emperor Akihito recently told visiting Philippine President Benigno Aquino III that Japan feels “remorse” for its actions during World War II. …

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  • rogerthat


    Toxic editorial at best

    Jun 04, 2015
    Re: We must dispose of nuclear waste here, Star editorial, May 30.

    I take exception to this editorial.

    The Star is entitled to its opinion, but be sure to get the facts correct. You state “the stuff … is garden-variety stuff found in every neighbourhood”.

    The Kincardine nuclear waste dump will bury low and intermediate level nuclear waste. Intermediate waste includes resins and components from within the nuclear reactors themselves. These remain radioactive for 100,000 years.

    I don’t know what kind of neighbourhood Star staff live in, but the vast majority of neighbourhoods do not hold lethal nuclear waste that remains radioactive for 100,000 years. Stating “the stuff just isn’t that scary or unusual” is completely misleading.

    You state, “a virtually impossible leak of a barely hazardous substance.” We are not talking dental X-rays.

    We are talking about the most lethal material humans have ever created.

    There are only three deep dumps that held radioactive nuclear waste on our entire planet. All three failed.

    The most recent is Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. It was to hold radioactive weapons waste safely for 10,000 years.

    WIPP is similar in depth and design to the Kincardine dump. In 2014, WIPP leaked a mere 15 years into its operational phase. It contaminated 22 workers. Radioactivity travelled to…

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    • rogerthat

      the next town.

      On planet Earth, history proves a 100 per cent failure rate for nuclear waste dumps. So much for your “virtually impossible leak” theory.

      Ontario contains over a million square kilometres and no other sites were considered. Is the drinking water of 40 million people of so little concern?

      BEVERLY FERNANDEZ, Spokesperson, Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, Southampton, Ont.

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  • rogerthat

    MITI wants to hobble solar power. If you transplanted the brains of these geniuses into grasshoppers, the grasshoppers would jump backwards:

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  • Irradiated towns in Japan seek to create propaganda to create a "vision that appeals to children"..

    how sick is that? quite sick. These young people want to leave, and the government wants to lie and misinform to get them to stay.

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  • rogerthat

    Jun 4, 2015
    Rescued Areva faces uncertain future as nuclear fuel group

    … The government plan unwinds Areva's much-vaunted model of an integrated nuclear group that mines and enriches uranium, produces nuclear fuel, builds reactors and recycles spent fuel.

    Created fifteen years ago from the nuclear fuel group Cogema and reactor builder Framatome, Areva had ambitions to sell as many as 16 of its massive EPR reactors to energy-hungry developing countries.

    But it has not sold a reactor since 2007 and the four it did sell have been plagued by delays and cost overruns. More than two decades after it was designed, not a single EPR is in operation today.

    Still, the French government said it hopes an EDF-led nuclear industry could win the export contracts that have proved so elusive for Areva.

    "The French camp must work together abroad," Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron told France Info radio on Thursday.

    In light of French President Francois Hollande's pledge to reduce French power generation's reliance on the atom to 50 percent by 2025 from 75 percent, and with EDF banking on extending the life of its 58 reactors by at least 10 years, Areva has no market at home.

    The only way for France to keep its nuclear industry alive – and the more than 200,000 jobs it provides – is to export. Hence the government support EDF enjoys for its project to build EPRs at Hinkley Point in…

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    • rogerthat


      Keeping its nuclear industry alive is also crucial if France wants to be able to replace its first ageing reactors in a decade or so.

      Nuclear energy is broadly accepted by the French population and backed by its main political parties. France is also a leading supporter of research into fourth-generation reactors, on which it spends hundreds of millions of euros.

      Areva's first chief executive Anne Lauvergeon, whose strategies have been widely criticised, described Areva's strategy as the "Nespresso" model, under which it would sell reactors with a modest margin but earn big on the nuclear fuel – the coffee – it would sell to captive customers.

      But the EPR, designed with Germany's Siemens, turned out to be too big, too complex and too expensive for the emerging markets where the growth in nuclear is, as most developed nations now focus their energy investments on renewables.

      Already weakened by a massive loss on an African uranium mining investment gone awry and billion-dollar writedowns on its fixed-price Finnish reactor, Areva did not have the financial reserves to outlast the order drought caused by the 2011 Fukushima disaster. …

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  • rogerthat

    this is a good piece:

    Jun 4, 2015
    Cheap coal, giant batteries may keep gas waiting for its golden age


    In 2011 the International Energy Agency (IEA) saw potential for a "golden age of gas". Four years on, cheap coal still stands in the way, and new power storage technology is making renewables a real threat. Gas may need a new plan. …

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  • rogerthat

    Canadian group denounces uranium shipments to SRS

    Derrek Asberry Email @DerrekAsberry
    Jun 5 2015

    The Savannah River Site is expected to receive a liquid form of highly enriched uranium from Canada for processing next fiscal year, but a Canadian council is expected to release a motion denouncing the shipment due to safety and health concerns.

    More than 6,000 gallons of highly-enriched uranium are expected to leave Ontario, Canada, and land at SRS. The material would travel, via railcar, across the Peace Bridge – an international bridge that connects the U.S. and Canada – through western New York, and down to South Carolina.

    But Bill Hodgson, a former mayor in the Niagara area and a current regional counselor, presented a motion denouncing the transport that was passed by the public works committee of the Niagara Regional Council. The issue will now go to the full council next week.

    “We disagree with the decision to transport the liquid material through truck and rail,” Hodgson said. “We want a risk analysis so we can understand what could potentially happen and so the public can understand, as well.”

    The transaction between the two countries is part of an agreement between President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. …

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  • rogerthat

    The Great Iranian Low-Enriched Uranium Stockpile Panic of June 2015

    People. People! Calm the hell down and stop worrying about the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.


    … One of the people at the talk had a very good question. And by very good, I mean it left me dumbfounded on how to answer. “I don’t trust the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times to tell me what is going on with the Iran negotiations,” he said. “What’s a reliable news source?”

    Uh, well, um. Yeah. So, about that. …

    … Which brings me back to the big question asked in New York: Who to follow? I think, for the vast majority of readers, that is the wrong question. Unless you work on this issue for your day job, you can safely stop following the negotiations — at least for now. All the palaver about the negotiations will be immediately worthless on or about June 30, when the parties are supposed to have reached a deal.

    Catch up on Game of Thrones or work on your art car for Burning Man. Wendy Sherman will still be here when you get back. And if you really just need a fix, check up on John Kerry’s broken leg or speculate about Javad Zarif’s allegedly achy-breaky back. …

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    • rogerthat

      As for those of us who are professionally obligated to follow the twists and turns, we need to stop injecting garbage into the discussion. You know who you are. Political coverage is already dominated by nonsense like Hillary Clinton’s burrito preferences. We don’t have to declare a referendum on the fate of negotiations every time the supreme leader takes a dump. …

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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Is there a single nuclear engineer that thought one nuclear plant disaster could take out the Pacific Ocean?

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