Vancouver Pescaderos Dive Club

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Sea Star Wasting Syndrome

Divers can help the state of knowledge around the distribution by inputing their observations
at the Vancouver Aquarium Sea Star Research.

Please see the links below on the latest regarding Sea Star Wasting Syndrome;

Nov. 18, 2014 Update:
One piece of the Sea Star Wasting Mystery Solved

- Mystery Solved


May 4, 2014:
Scientists narrow in on Sea Star Wasting Syndrome devastating the West Coast
By Dene Moore, The Canadian Press 



Local videographer/marine biologist Neil McDaniel put together this document summarizing the recent
and on-going Sea Star die-off as well as the video below on the 2013 sea star die-off.


Virulent Disease Attacks Sea Stars on the West Coast of North America from Neil McDaniel on Vimeo.


Pacific Biological Station,
Aquatic Animal Health Section, 
Nanaimo, BC:

" Lab reports pertaining to the two groups of sea stars submitted to the PBS Aquatic Animal Health section for disease investigation. Please keep in mind that very little is known about echinoderm diseases on the west coast of Canada. However, our laboratory is willing to further investigate this phenomenon if additional samples of moribund / weak (but not decomposing) sea stars are collected from the affected areas (if there is further interest from divers please contact me prior to collection so we coordinate the necropsy and fixation of the appropriate tissue samples)."

sea star wasting



≈ Bates et al.

≈ Uthicke et al.

≈ Shellfish Health Report #8359

≈ Shellfish Health Report #8360



The final report from Gary Myer of the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo concludes that

"No infectious diseases were detected by histological examination that would help to explain the cause of the mortalities. No viruses were detected in these samples using electron microscopy, however they should not be completely ruled out at this time as they are notoriously difficult to detect. Although the cause of the high mortalities in sea stars remains to be a mystery; the existing samples will be retained for future investigation and available to other researchers upon request. "

≈ Read his Final Report

sunflower sea starSunflower Sea Stars

Here is an article in the Vancouver Sun on the mass die-off of local sunflower sea stars

The end of the article asks for divers to report any similar star fish deaths (outside of Howe Sound) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






Cort Mackenzie


Don Hughes


Jim Willoughby

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