"Mystery Ailment Is Wiping Out Coast's Starfish"

"A mysterious pathogen is wiping out starfish along the Pacific coast, a potential catastrophe that has flummoxed marine biologists who are joining forces to find the culprit."

"The uncontested star of tide pools is disappearing from large areas along the coast, including Monterey, where the marine invertebrates have been withering and dying by the thousands.

Nobody knows what is causing the die-off, but the killer - most likely some kind of virus, bacteria or pollutant - is widespread and extremely virulent. It has ravaged a variety of starfish species in tide pools and in deeper water along the coast from Mexico to Alaska."

Peter Fimrite reports for the San Francisco Chronicle December 8, 2013.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 12/09/2013