S. California Fishermen ‘Skunked… Haven’t Seen a Squid’, Usually 10,000+ lbs Per Day

http://online.wsj.com/articles/sick-sea-lions-flood-shelters-in-california-1402093448

KPBS, June 11, 2014:

Unusual Fish Catches Off San Diego Signal Large-Scale El Niño […] “We’ve already started to see very unusual fish catches here,” [Tim Barnett, Scripps Institution of Oceanography said.] “Yellowfin tuna was caught in May — that has never happened before to anybody’s recollection [and] dorado Mahi Mahi — first of June […] has never happened” […]

Pete Thomas Outdoors, June 13, 2014:

Unusual catches, whales in odd places, pelican woes could be signs that impending El Niño will be significant […] mammals, birds and fish showing up where they don’t typically belong […] Earlier this week two Bryde’s whales [were] off Huntington Beach […] Sightings off California, however, are extremely rare. […] between 1991 and 2005, there was only one […] Less than a week earlier, a large pod of pilot whales showed off Dana Point […] nearly 20 years since they were last spotted off Southern California. In late March, false killer whales, another ultra-rare visitor [were] off Orange County. […] Sam Anderson, a UC Davis biologist […] would typically encounter tens of thousands of breeding pairs of pelicans, there were only sparse numbers. Some nesting sites were alarmingly deserted. […] Anderson, however, was reluctant to place all of the blame for the pelicans’ plight on the developing El Niño.

Wall St. Journal, June 7, 2014:

Record numbers of distressed sea lions have washed ashore in California for a second straight year […] a record 367 California sea lions have been admitted to the Marine Mammal Center here just north of San Francisco, nearly five times the average. […] The problem may have implications for humans, researchers say. “Sea lions are living and feeding on the same resource as humans are.” […] Evidence suggests a problem with one of the animal’s major food sources, sardines […] Some researchers suggest rising toxicity […]

Mark Rayor (Baja California’s East Cape region), April 13, 2014:

The bait situation is still very grim […] with sardines and mackerel nowhere to be found.

Marin Independent Journal, June 16, 2014:

”We are seeing an issue of availability of (oyster) seed […] There have been complete crashes at these hatcheries.”

Long Beach Press-Telegram, June 13, 2014:

The squid boats that net the market squid commercially get an average of six tons nightly […] This year the boats are getting “skunked” and haven’t seen a squid for the last three nights.

http://enenews.com/very-unusual-fish-catches-never-happened-before-california-fishing-boats-havent-squid-recently-10000-pounds-day-complete-crashes-oyster-hatcheries-sardines-mackerel-be-found-ultra-rare-wha

Until next time, may you always feel secure in your person, defend justice, and be vigilantly non-violent.

-Mr. Baxter

Potential for “Global Extinction” — “Affects Over 20 Species”

http://www.macleans.ca/society/science/b-c-starfish-are-dissolving-into-goo/

Macleans, June 13, 2014:

From Alaska to Mexico—and all along the B.C. coast—an iconic animal is disappearing. For reasons that remain baffling to scientists, starfish are dying by the millions, in the grips of a mysterious wasting disease that dissolves their bodies into goo. “I’d do beach walks along a 50-m stretch of shoreline, and count 500 or 1,000 of them,” says Chris Harley, a marine ecologist at the University of British Columbia who’s been monitoring sea stars (as scientists call them) for nearly two decades […] Revisiting one of these sites recently, he found a single sea star. […] “This is one of the largest wildlife die-offs that we know of,” [Seattle Aquarium veterinarian Lesanna Lahner] says. “It’s a signal in the ecosystem that something’s not right.”

Eugene Weekly, June 12, 2014:

“The way the rate has accelerated, I don’t think most sea stars along the Oregon coast are long for this world,” says Bruce Menge, a marine ecologist with Oregon State University.

KUOW News, June 16, 2014:

“It’s a lot worse than it was last week,” says [Drew] Harvell, a marine epidemiologist at Cornell University. […] “It’s the largest mortality event for marine diseases we’ve seen,” Harvell said. “It affects over twenty species on our coast and it’s been causing catastrophic mortality.” […] From what Harvell and her team see as they survey beaches [of Washington’s San Juan archipelago], there’s not much time for these starfish […] “My expectation is that within the next month all of the stars will die.” The team checked this rocky patch last week and found 10 percent of the stars showed signs of the wasting syndrome. Today they estimate that number has increased to more than 40 percent. […] Harvell said, “This area has some of the highest biodiversity of sea stars in the world. We’re not just losing one keystone species, we’re losing a whole guild of stars.” And the stars here are what’s called an endemic species, meaning they only live on this shoreline and nowhere else on the planet, she explained. If sea stars are wiped out along these shores, there’s a potential for not just local, but global extinction.

http://kuow.org/post/scientists-close-what-s-killing-sea-stars

http://enenews.com/tv-largest-disease-outbreak-oceans-hitting-west-coast-potential-global-extinction-affects-twenty-species-coast-causing-catastrophic-mortality-video

Until next time, may you always feel secure in your person, defend justice, and be vigilantly non-violent.

-Mr. Baxter

Oregon Sea Star “Extinction Event” is Pretty Close

“Epidemic of historic magnitude… threatens to decimate entire population”

Port Townsend Leader, June 4, 2014 (emphasis added):

“This event is greater than we’ve ever seen […] There’s a good chance we’ll see it take off, more than we have already, up and down the coast this summer […] I don’t think anybody is considering extinction at this point (then why bring it up?) […] it will be interesting to see what happens over this next year […] there could be local extinction” -Melissa Miner, UC Santa Cruz

Times Standard, June 7, 2014:

[Wasting disease] was observed in June 2013 in about 20 percent of the Humboldt County [California] sea star population, but appears to have grown significantly worse since then. “We’re seeing upwards of an 80 percent decline,”[…] A year ago we were counting 160 stars, and a week ago we counted 20, so it’s been pretty devastating […] half of [the 20] had obvious signs of the syndrome… I think we’re pretty close at this point to an extinction event.”

Times Colonist, June 9, 2014:

Purple ochre sea stars are facing extinction in Oregon […] says a report from Oregon State University [as] sea star wasting syndrome has exploded in the past two weeks […] threatening the state’s entire population of purple ochre sea stars.

Oregon St. University, June 4, 2014:

Sea star disease epidemic surges in Oregon, local extinctions expected— Just in the past two weeks, the incidence of sea star wasting syndrome has exploded along the Oregon Coast and created an epidemic of historic magnitude, one that threatens to decimate the entire population of purple ochre sea stars.

Until next time, may you always feel secure in your person, defend justice, and be vigilantly non-violent.

-Mr. Baxter

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