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Home » Archives » November 2017 » “Sea Star Wasting Disease: What Is Happening Now?”

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11/06/2017: "“Sea Star Wasting Disease: What Is Happening Now?”"


ig_E_SeaStarWasting-001 (176k image)

Free lecture by Dr. Joe Gaydos of the SeaDoc Society, will be held Tuesday, November 14 at 7:00pm at the Emmanuel Episcopal Parish Hall, Eastsound WA. Since 2013 a devastating outbreak of sea star wasting disease has killed millions of sea stars from Mexico to Alaska. The ongoing epidemic is so huge that many consider it to be the largest disease outbreak ever documented in marine wildlife.


Infected animals develop lesions that eat away tissue, with limbs dropping off as the animals die. The disease has been linked to a specific virus called sea star-associated Densovirus, although environmental factors may also be involved. For example, studies have shown that elevated temperatures make the disease worse.

On Tuesday November 14th Dr. Joe Gaydos, SeaDoc Science Director will discuss the outbreak and what scientists have learned about its effect on multiple different sea star species. For example, an analysis of data collected by scientists and by recreational scuba divers in the Salish Sea showed severe impacts on some species, such as the sunflower sea star, Pycnopodia helianthoides, while populations of other species have actually increased.

The 2017-2018 Marine Science Lecture Series is designed to inspire the general public and to highlight the amazing fish and wildlife of our region. Lectures are free.

The Lecture Series is presented by program partners The SeaDoc Society and YMCA Camp Orkila. It has been made possible through generous sponsorship by The Averna Family (Deer Harbor Charters), Barbara Bentley, Barbara Brown, Emmanuel Episcopal, Audrey and Dean Stupke, Orcas Island Community Foundation and West Sound Marina. For more information visit http://www.seadocsociety.org.

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