Investigated: "Why are massive numbers of sea creatures dying along the west coast"


Senior Member.
Why are massive numbers of sea creatures dying along the west coast right now?
by Michael Snyder, @ Activist Post

(first posted HERE)

Never before have we seen so much death along the west coast of North America. Massive numbers of sea stars, bluefin tuna, sardines, anchovies, herring, oysters, salmon, marine mammals and marine birds are dying, and experts are puzzled. We are being told that we could even see “local extinctions” of some of these sea creatures. So are all of these deaths related? If so, what in the world could be causing this to happen? What has changed so dramatically that it would cause massive numbers of sea creatures to die along the west coast?
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First, looking at Snyder's other posts, it does not seem he is in any way a specialist in the field of oceanography.
To be fair, neither am I.

It's all too easy to put together a list of circumstances....then claim a connection. He suggests there IS a connection somehow, but asks the readers to come up with one. (He hints at the floating garbage patch, in the Pacific ocean.)
The most prevalent connection from readers comments is a large percentage.
His article is found reprinted at the usual places....Infowars, Geoenginnering Watch, etc.

Are all (or most) the examples of Pacific marine life declines/problems he lists.....truly connected ?
Or did he simply collect unrelated stories....propose they are connected -- in order to popularize himself as an online writer ? (or promote his new book, available on Amazon)

Perhaps the best way to decipher and understand what is really going on within his list, is to examine each marine anomaly/, to determine if there is a connection.

(opinion: this article by Snyder is but a Gish Gallop (a fish gallop) in order to gain followers and believers.....those whom will never check all 15 of his examples)

Here is the abbreviated list of creatures in "trouble":
1) Sea Stars
2) Bluefin tuna
3) Sardine, Anchovy, Herring
4) Sea Lions
5) certain marine birds
6) red King Crab
7) Pelicans
8) Pacific Oysters
9) Sockeye Salmon
10) Herring (again)
11) plankton
12) Anchovies (again)
13) Anchovies (again, mass death)
14) unknown fish die-off
15) tuna, possibly Albacore

(please any/all cases, if the results were indeed from Fukushima, independent and university scientists would certainly say so when diagnosing these creatures....yet they do not. The only claims that the illnesses come from Fukushima.....are from non-scientific blog readers, conspiracy theorists or from people who fear the worst - and make a connection to a popular meme and/or will not investigate these stories on their own)

1) Sea Stars (starfish):
It's from a specific disease....marine biologists know this....and research is ongoing.

“We’re holding steady here and we’re not sure why,” said Drew Harvell, a marine epidemiologist from Cornell University who has studied marine diseases for 20 years. She teaches an infectious marine disease course at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs on San Juan Island and was at the labs when the disease broke.
Some have asked whether radiation or tsunami debris associated with the Fukushima disaster could be behind this die-off. But scientists now see Fukushima as an unlikely culprit because the die-offs are patchy, popping up in certain places like Seattle and Santa Barbara and not in others, such as coastal Oregon, where wasting has only been reported at one location.
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Give a look for yourself.....

2) Bluefin tuna
It is from over fishing.
......from Snyder's own link :

On Wednesday, The fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that it’s considering a ban on recreational and commercial fishing of Pacific bluefin tuna. After years of large-scale fishing and rising demand in the sushi industry it is estimated that as few as 40,000 adult Pacific bluefin tuna remain in the wild, around four percent of the fish’s historic average.

With catches dropping dramatically recently and up to 90 percent of those caught qualifying as juveniles, this initial step by the federal government could result in the fish being added to the list of imperiled species that must be released immediately if caught.
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3) Sardine, Anchovy, Herring:
Again, over fishing.....and normal/historical decade well a century fluctuations -- both known as fish species (population) oscillations.

Such population swings are well known, if not well understood.

Centuries of fossil records indicate sardine abundance fluctuates widely on a sixty-year cycle, appearing to coincide with "warm" and "cold" periods that alternately favor sardines and anchovies. In a 2011 report, fisheries researchers Juan Zwolinski and David Demer showed that certain environmental conditions today mirror the circumstances surrounding a dramatic sardine crash in the late 1940s, suggesting we may be experiencing a similar natural decline.
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"Largest Northern Anchovy school seen off Scripps in more than 30 years"
July 8, 2014....San Diego, CA

(I'll post more....need to go to work)
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#4) Sea Lions :...
Overfishing blamed. Again, from Snyder's own link....

The problem may have implications for humans, researchers say. "Sea lions are living and feeding on the same resource as humans are," said Shawn Johnson, director of veterinary science at the Marine Mammal Center. "If they are starting to have problems, that shows there could be a problem with the ocean." (over fishing)

Scientists suspect the surge in numbers has to do in part with the sea lions' food sources moving farther away, perhaps because climate change has shifted ocean currents or changed water temperatures. Evidence suggests a problem with one of the animal's major food sources, sardines, biologists say. The majority of the distressed animals have been pups, which biologists say likely were abandoned by their mothers for lack of food.
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Executive Director Keith Matassa said the leading cause in likely their food source. It might be something the mother is eating, or a lack of milk, or perhaps the pups are just too small to begin with, and they are too weak to fish. Last year, scientists tested for radioactivity, and it was determined that wasn’t the cause, and infectious disease was also ruled out.
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It should be noted, that my earlier post of an overabundance of Anchovies at the Scripps local......does not mean an over-population of Anchovy food for sea simply means that large schools of these fish still exist. There should be more of these schools.......see above post for more info on fish count fluctuation.

5) "marine birds disappearing"
There are several reasons, depending on specific situations and species.
Reduced habitat (mating grounds), reduced fish forage, and non-human invasive predators are but three reasons.
Combine all three (+more), and the deaths that used to be overcome numerically by shear populations, is no longer in play. Therefore if a disease is spread among the seabird has a much more dramatic effect.

6) red King Crabs....
....from Snyder's own link, speaking of a "blue" King Crab:
It is extremely unusual for red king crabs to be blue. Scott Kent, of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Nome, told the AP that blue crabs turn up "once in a blue moon." He suspects the crab's unusual coloring is the result of a mutation.
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7) Pelicans (refusing to mate)...
I googled "pelicans refusing to mate"...

No results found for "pelicans refusing to mate".
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....but Snyder's link went to a NaturalNews article:
....the article suggests that Fukushima is the result of low Pelican offspring
Another possibility is the dreaded Fukushima disaster, which may have been linked to numerous mass die-offs of ocean fish that occurred along the California coast over the past several years. Just a few weeks ago, in fact, tens of thousands of dead fish washed up in the Marina del Rey harbor, the second time such an event has occurred in the area since 2011.
These fish would normally have been food for hungry pelicans.
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I doubt that a two-day die off in MDR....had a result in Pelican population.
One problem with this is that large Pelican breeding grounds are in the (Baja gulf)....not on the Pacific ocean, proper.

(more to follow)
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Snyder has been mentioned at Skeptiod....

(Snyder suggests...)
4. Something is causing fish all along the west coast of Canada to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs.

(Skeptiod responds....)
Just as “many” does not equal “people who understand this stuff,” “something” does not equal “Fukushima.” The link Snyder sites doesn’t even talk about “fish all along the west coast of Canada.” It mentions one school of herring found to be mysteriously bleeding. The cause of this is unknown right now, but even the biologist who discovered the herring isn’t blaming Fukushima – and she discovered them before the plume of radiation would have reached Canada.
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8) Oyster problems (Pacific)

There is a large amount of information and study that does lead to oyster die-offs, or problems with oyster reproduction.
......due to ocean water acidification.
For the past six years, wild oysters in Willapa Bay, Washington, have failed to reproduce successfully because corrosive waters have prevented oyster larvae from forming shells. Wild oysters in Puget Sound and off the east coast of Vancouver Island also have experienced reproductive failure because of acidic waters. Other wild oyster beds in the Pacific Northwest have sustained losses in recent years at the same time that scientists have been measuring alarmingly corrosive water along the Pacific coast.
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My point is......that surely there are humanly induced environmental problems, that need to be addressed.

9) Sockeye Salmon...

Yearly reports vary, but current local sources say (2014):
'Epic' salmon run this year in waters around Parksville Qualicum Beach (Vancouver, BC)
Parksville Qualicum Beach is experiencing its best season of fishing in the last decade.
That's the word on the dock at least — from experienced guides, weigh scales and tackle shops in the area.
French Creek Harbour Store owner Kari Wheatley described this year's salmon run as "epic."
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I wonder if Snyder has current figures ....or if different fishery spawning rivers have different results/predictions ?

10) Herring (salmon forage)

Pacific NW.
This seems to be a rebound in recent years.

11) high levels of Cesium 137
Snyder linked this site:
Scientists said Tuesday they have detected radioactive cesium from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in plankton collected from all 10 points in the Pacific they checked, with the highest levels at around 25 degrees north latitude and 150 degrees west longitude.
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.........puts the area NE of Hawaii ??
They detected cesium-134 in plankton at all 10 points. The density of radioactive cesium was the highest at 8.2 to 10.5 becquerels per kilogram in samples collected from waters around 25 degrees north latitude and 150 degrees east longitude. The lowest concentration at any of the 10 points was 1.9 becquerels per kilogram.
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I can't comment on cesium levels.....but I know that between "highest and lowest".....there is a medium.
....and that the two paragraphs conflict (150W.... vs ...150E)
I can't comment.
12) Anchovy die-off at Marina del Rey, CA

Fish were trapped and died from lack of oxygen, in low-oxygen water marina environment.

13) same as above

14) dead fish

"When too many are packed inshore, they deplete the oxygen. That is why the Santa Cruz harbor aerates the upper harbor," Thomae said to KSBW.
But a NOAA biologist told KSBW the fish may have been trapped in squid boat nets and dumped by the crew.
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15) Albacore tuna

From Snyder's very own link:
....actually a link within his explanation. Here is what he typed, to link the reference....(the study below)....

Recently, a study from researchers with Oregon State University has affirmed the spills have affected sea life and Albacore tuna in particular.
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He is FAR from describing the extent of the study's content, though he is not lying because he says 'there is a difference found'. It's not until you read the link/study, that you realize the 'the difference found', is described more than once -- that it is a minute impact.....
In fact, you would have to consume more than 700,000 pounds of the fish with the highest radioactive level – just to match the amount of radiation the average person is annually exposed to in everyday life through cosmic rays, the air, the ground, X-rays and other sources, the authors say.
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“You can’t say there is absolutely zero risk because any radiation is assumed to carry at least some small risk,” said Delvan Neville, a graduate research assistant in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics at Oregon State University and lead author on the study. “But these trace levels are too small to be a realistic concern."

“A year of eating albacore with these cesium traces is about the same dose of radiation as you get from spending 23 seconds in a stuffy basement from radon gas, or sleeping next to your spouse for 40 nights from the natural potassium-40 in their body,” he added. “It’s just not much at all.”
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Fish were trapped and died from lack of oxygen, in low-oxygen water marina environment.

Not to mention, also, in a marina....the various pollutants. Very still water (in a marina) induces poor oxygenation, along with a variety of poisons from the boats docked there.
For reference. It is a very constricted environment.

Yes, indeed. I've been involved in boating for many years. Marinas ARE a restricted environment, and any qualified biologist knows this and would never take 'samples' from such an environment in an attempt to draw a conclusion about the viability of sea life.

( THAT is a very beautiful photo, BTW. That's me waving, out on the Palos Verdes Peninsula! Gotta zoom in real tight.... ;) )
My comments are being deleted, at this site (Snyder).

....I'll leave them alone for now, I may have been pushing to hard (though only asking them to look at my findings of the 15 claims).
I'm not surprised at this. (this comment was deleted)

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Interesting article...
Three Reasons Why Fukushima Radiation Has Nothing to Do with Starfish Wasting Syndrome

  1. Starfish Wasting Disease/Syndrome (SWD/SWS) pre-Dates Fukushima by 3 to 15 years. This is probably the most self-evident of reasons. One of the earliest accounts of starfish wasting disease was recorded from Southern California (Channel Islands) in 1997 (pdf). The account of SWS in British Columbia was first documented by Bates et al. in2009, and their data was collected in 2008. Fukushima? March 2011.
  2. Starfish Wasting Syndrome Occurs on the East Coast as well as the Pacific. Many of the accounts alleging a Fukushima connection to Starfish Wasting Syndrome forget that there are also accounts of SWS on the east coast of the United States affecting the asteriid Asterias rubens. There is no evidence (or apparent mechanism) for Fukushima radiation to have reached the east coast and therefore the Fukushima idea is again not supported.
  3. No other life in these regions seems to have been affected. If we watch the original British Columbia Pycnopodia die-off videos, and the later Washington state die-off vidoes, one cannot help but notice that other than the starfish, EVERYTHING else remains alive. Fish. Seaweed, encrusting animals. etc.
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Not to mention, also, in a marina....the various pollutants. Very still water (in a marina) induces poor oxygenation, along with a variety of poisons from the boats docked there.
Both Sardines and Herring require ample oxygenated water (though not by the same amount), brought by churning waves in open sea, ocean current upwellings, or are found not far off the coasts (shore waves).
Deep sea fish (who inhabit the bottoms) require less oxygenated water.

This is one reason why/how seabirds are able to feed on them.....these fish are most often found at upwards of 30 meters depth.......and often found close to the surface.
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I'm Anal again. :)

It's not that simple, biology hardy ever is.
Warm water doesn't hold as much oxygen as cold water. So being deep helps also, if fish is short of oxy.

Like salmons, they migrate between water columns, searching for oxy rich water. Spring and Autumn, when top and bottoms of lakes are about same temperature, salmons are found everywhere at water column. When summer comes, they migrate to deeper waters and comes back to top only to feed themselves.

Some species of fishes live in deep, because they need oxygen so much. Some of them swims around at top, to get as much oxy as they can and like tarpon, even thats not enough, they need "gasp" air from above top, time to time.
Good work herein :)

FYI, in case any of you need the info & ask for a favor (I don't have the time right now); he fails to mention dolphins! I've debunked, but don't have time to post [it was sonar from ships for energy exploration that caused a number of them to beach themselves on shore].

Lastly, he discusses BIS (bank of international settlements) and I'm an expert in the field of monetary policy/fiat/investing/shadow banking; if you need assistance. Again I just don't have the time.
A report on the fishing industry in Oregon.

Year 2013 was another excellent year exceeding the 2012 harvest value of $141.9 million by nine percent. It also was 25 percent greater than the five year 2008-2012 average. Year 2013 is the second highest harvest value year in the last 25 year period going back to 1988. Year 2011 was the highest in the last 25 years when $156.0 million was landed, and 2012 was the third highest.
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An update, or just to add info......

(article) 09/05/2014

The number of California blue whales has rebounded to near historical levels, according to new research by the University of Washington, and while the number of blue whales struck by ships is likely above allowable U.S. limits, such strikes do not immediately threaten that recovery.

This is the only population of blue whales known to have recovered from whaling – blue whales as a species having been hunted nearly to extinction.........
.......California blue whales are at their most visible while at feeding grounds 20 to 30 miles off the California coast, but are actually found along the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean from the equator up into the Gulf of Alaska.
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Note -- the population of ENP (Eastern North Pacific) Blue Whales in many cases is hampered mostly by "ship strikes", and nothing is stated that Fukushima is a source of concern:

(study) 09/05/2014
Our analysis suggests that while current levels of ship strikes are likely above legal limits, they do not immediately threaten the status of the ENP blue whale. This conclusion is based on the log-linear model which suggested the population has likely increased since 1993 (despite ship strikes), and from the theta-logistic model, which found this growth has slowed due to density dependence, not ship strikes. However, we have demonstrated an increasing impact to the population as vessel traffic increases and ship strikes become more common. Mitigation approaches will become increasingly necessary if the rate of ship strikes increases faster than predicted, the current level of ship strikes is much higher than the scenarios used here, or other sources of anthropogenic disturbance or mortality increase. Continued monitoring of ship strikes and population abundance will provide crucial information about the health and status of ENP blue whales.
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Thanks CeruleanBlu. (my favorite color other than "manganese blue")
This wasting disease has been known for decades.

Hewson suggests that the virus has been smoldering at a low level for many years. It was present in museum samples of sea stars collected in 1942, 1980, 1987 and 1991, and may have risen to epidemic levels in the last few years due to sea star overpopulation, environmental changes, or mutation of the virus. Sea water, plankton, sediments and water filters from public aquariums, sea urchins and brittle stars also harbored the virus.

Read more at:
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