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Sunflower Stars, goodbye, I loved you so!

Discussion in 'Marine Life and Ecosystems' started by aquacat8, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. aquacat8

    aquacat8 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Savannah, GA
    1,505
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    I cannot deal with this. I just found out about the death of the California Sunflower Stars. Crying and crying. I have been on the east coast. I did not know.
     
  2. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,758
    5,894
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    It has been going on now for some time. Certainly sad. Not sure I understand why the ones in deep (cold) water are dying. We had a disastrous die-off of many different echinoderm species during the El Ninos and The Blobs.
     
  3. aquacat8

    aquacat8 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Savannah, GA
    1,505
    1,146
    113
    I just did not know how bad it was. It is hard diving through this extinction time. I wish I could have been a young diver when you were @drbill . Here on the east coast it’s a graveyard too. Last summer I was in the middle of the red tide. Maybe is is time to learn to love bacteria, jellys, urchins, lionfish, mosquitoes and rats... the creatures of the apocalypse.
     
    peterak likes this.
  4. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    7,248
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    @drbill, I (maybe naively) presumed that the California current supplied you with a constant north-to-south supply of cold water. Isn't El Nino a surface phenomenon? What are the 'Blobs'?

    East coast is the opposite, the Gulf Stream brings warm water from south-to-north.
     
    agilis likes this.
  5. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,758
    5,894
    113
    The California Current does indeed bathe the outer Channel Islands with cold water, but Pt. Conception diverts that current to the outer channel waters. The temperature gradient moving west from Anacapa to San Miguel Island can be pretty substantial. The So Cal Bight is occasionally affected by the north-flowing counter current bringing warm water up. My end of Catalina (the SE) usually has the warmest water in the entire Channel Islands.

    I've seen strong El Ninos affect water temperature significantly down to depths of 150 fsw or more.

    The Blobs are large warm water masses off the Pacific NW (and elsewhere on the West Coast) that form on occasion.
     
    lowviz and Schwob like this.
  6. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    4,242
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    Thr sunflower star die off is horrible up here in Norcal. There’s nothing but miles and miles of purple urchin barrens now and all the kelp is gone. The abalone have been shrivelling up and dying as well because they are starving to death. They closed the recreational sport fishery for abalone last year and it looks like it will probably never reopen. Not that I’m personally devastated over that, but it has caused a lot of hardship for the local economies that relied on abalone diving tourism. It’s changing times for sure.
     
  7. RyanT

    RyanT ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    2,076
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  8. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Torrance, CA
    9,347
    9,464
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    Fixed that for you. :)
     
  9. peterak

    peterak ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Big Island, HI
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    Yes, this is very bad. Let's hope that selection pressure among surviving sea stars will eventually result in a rebound. (It could happen.)
     
    aquacat8 likes this.
  10. peterak

    peterak ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Big Island, HI
    181
    101
    43
    How about "non-local poachers," rather than imply an antipathy towards Bay Area residents, which I'm sure you do not have. :)
     

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