I was catching up on my news videos online, and the CBS Evening news had a short clip about how a disease called “Sea Star Wasting Disease”, primarily along California shores. It mentioned that the disease is normal in El Nino years, when the sea is warmer and bacteria grows faster. However, it is not an El Nino year… It was also mentioned as much as 90-95% of the population has been lost in some places.
After having talked about Global warming last week, I have to wonder if this could be at all related? It is affected areas as far north as Oregon, Washington and even Alaska! It included clips of walking in tide pools with before and after images that really amazed me how many they have lost. The Sea Stars feed on the mussels, and due to the absence of the predator, the mussel population is exploding. I have to wonder what kid of problems could this have?
More likely to infect boats and be spread to other bodies of water, like lakes and rivers? Could the mussels growing on top of the tide pools prevent the light from getting to the rocks, thus killing the plant life there, effecting the problem even more? Could it effect other sea life, out-competing them for resources like food? This seems like something we really should take notice to, and could it be spreading along the coast?
What do you guys think of the problem?