ENENews: TV: ‘Scary’ mystery illness killing off animals “at such a rapid rate”


TV: ‘Scary’ mystery illness killing off animals “at such a rapid rate” on West Coast — Hundreds of marine mammals found dead in small area — Gov’t Expert: “Something is likely affecting the entire ecosystem… Something is hitting them harder and faster… Something else seems to be involved” (VIDEO)
Published: October 19th, 2015 at 7:11 am ET
By ENENews

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Oct 8, 2015 (emphasis added): More than 200 dead or sick sea otters have been reported on beaches in [Alaska’s] Kachemak Bay region in 2015… A team of experts… are working to understand what has caused the spike in sea otter deaths and potential significance to the population… [T]he cause of death for many of the sea otters remains unknown.

Anchorage Daily News, Oct 10, 2015: Researchers see spike in Kachemak Bay sea otter deaths… [A news release from gov’t agencies] said the recent deaths and sickness could significantly affect the population.

KTVA transcript, Oct. 8, 2015: Hundreds of sea otters have been found dead in the Katchemak Bay area near Homer this year. Veterinarians at the Alaska Sea Life Center are working with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to figure out what’s making the otters so sick… It’s an unsettling mystery, killing off some of Alaska’s favorite furry animals.

KTVA, Oct 8, 2015: Unusually high number of sea otter deaths reported in Kachemak Bay… experts from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working to figure out what’s killing off the otters at such a rapid rate. “More recently, animals have appeared otherwise healthy and seemed to have died very quickly,” said Dr. Carrie Goertz… “it’s scary to know there’s something out there in the wild that we may or may not be able to do anything about.”

Peninsula Clarion, Oct 10, 2015: Spike in otter deaths in Kachemak Bay… “They were pretty healthy-looking, other than they were dead” [said Marc Webber, U.S. Fish & Wildlife]… The otters are clearly unwell… nonresponsive and unable to move, [Dr. Carrie Goetz, SeaLife Center veterinarian] said. “There haven’t been any obvious causes of death,” Goetz said. “That’s been limiting our understanding of what’s going on.”… Reports of dead animals of multiple species have risen in the Kachemak Bay area in the last few months, including birds and barnacles… Increased numbers of dead whales had been spotted as well…

KBBI, Oct 13, 2015: [Webber said] when something is going wrong with them, something is likely affecting the entire ecosystem… [Dr. Goetz] says they’ve been tracking a streptococcus illness… But the otters that have died since August seem different. “[They] have died acutely… in the last couple of months,” Goertz said… [What Webber is] seeing seems different than what he’s seen in the past. “Something is hitting them harder and faster… something else seems to be involved,” Webber said.

AP, Oct 14, 2015: “We’re finding otters all over the Homer area”… [the] otters are turning with neurological conditions that cause them to twitch, said Webber… dying otters could be an indicator that something is wrong with the entire ecosystem, according to Webber. The Alaska Sea Life Center has been tracking a streptococcus illness… but what’s happened since August is something new, said veterinarian Cari Goertz…

USGS California Sea Otter Stranding Network 2014 Stranding Summary: The number of sea otter strandings in 2014 (386) was the highest on record, 18 above the 368 sea otters that stranded in 2012. There were 340 strandings in 2013… A stranded sea otter is one that washes ashore dead or alive… NOTE: Stranding numbers only account for sea otters that people find… possibly less than 50% of sea otters that die in the wild end up on the beach…

Watch KTVA’s broadcast here

Published: October 19th, 2015 at 7:11 am ET
By ENENews
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ENENews: Expert: Disease outbreak on US West Coast is largest ever seen in any population of animals — Tens of millions dead


Expert: Disease outbreak on US West Coast is largest ever seen in any population of animals — Tens of millions dead — Official: Gov’t needs to declare emergency before extinction occurs — Many scientists believed radiation from Fukushima to blame (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/expert-disease-outbreak-west-coast-largest-ever-in-animal-population-vide?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Published: March 14th, 2015 at 6:58 am ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/expert-disease-outbreak-west-coast-largest-ever-in-animal-population-vide?

McClatchy, Mar 13, 2015 (emphasis added): With millions of starfish dying all along the West Coast [and] disintegrating into mush [Congressman Denny Heck wants NOAA] to declare “sea star wasting syndrome” an emergency before the starfish becomes extinct.

National Geographic, Jan 23, 2015: [It’s killed] tens of millions of sea stars.

Cornell Prof. Drew Harvell, sea star researcher, Mar 13, 2015: “There has never been an outbreak of disease in natural populations of animals that I know that’s been this large.”

Newport Beach official Michelle Clemente: “All of our area’s sea stars have disintegrated”

Russian gov’t news service (Sputnik), Mar 12, 2015: Many researchers initially believed radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster could be at the heart of the disease… Dr. Peter Raimondi of the University of California at Santa Cruz [believed] the power plant contaminated the water, propagating the disease which the simple immune system of the starfish would not be able to fight off… “One of the byproducts is obviously nuclear radiation discharge…” he added. Today, scientists are less convinced that Fukushima is to blame, citing the fact that [1] awareness of the disease predates the disaster, [2] the die-offs are observable on both US coasts, and [3] other marine life doesn’t appear to be affected.

[1] Is it a fact this disease predates the 2011 arrival of the Fukushima plume on the West Coast?

Melissa Miner, researcher who works for Dr. Raimondi (at 18:30): “The Olympic coast was the first place, in June 2013, where we saw the disease.”
Miner (at 4:45): “This is very different from prior events…It’s not associated w/ warm water … Populations really [got] hit hard over the winter, this has never happened… The other big difference… is the geographic extent is much, much larger than we’ve ever seen.”
[2] Is it a fact the die-offs are observable on both US coasts?

Miner (50:45 in): “I think it was just a few-month epidemic on the East Coast of the US… My feeling, because we have not heard a lot about it, is that it sort of disappeared. It just lasted a few months and then was gone.”
[3] Is it a fact other marine life doesn’t appear to be affected?

“Researchers are now keeping an eye on other echinoderms, such as sea urchins and sea cucumbers. Wasting has been observed in those animals… ‘We’re seeing urchins in southern California with lesions in areas where stars were dying’ [said Miner].” -Source

Miner (43:15 in): “People are really watching closely [if] it will spread… We’ve had isolated observations of sick urchins and sea cucumbers w/ lesions and other odd looking things.”
What about the reported surge in baby sea stars? “‘It’s not a coast-wide phenomenon at all,’ said Miner… as few as four of 70 long-term sites [have] greater than normal numbers… ‘I was trying really hard to find juveniles and I couldn’t find any,’ said [Chrissy McLean].” -Source

What about reports that wasting mystery is solved? “No one knows what might have triggered such widespread wasting, although scientists [published a paper identifying] densovirus… rather than environmental pollutants, such as the oft-suggested [Fukushima] radiation… They found the virus in a Connecticut aquarium where mass die-offs had not been observed, as well as in preserved sea stars from 1942… Miner, who is one of the paper’s authors [said] “It’s likely that other environmental factors have pushed stars to the limit” -Source

View Miner’s presentation here