Vancouver Aquarium marine scientist Laura Borden holds up a piece of kelp found in shallow waters in Howe Sound on Monday. (Rafferty Baker/CBC) Scientists with the Vancouver Aquarium were on the water last week looking closely at how a serious decline in the Sea Star population in the waters in Howe Sound near West Vancouver is impacting the rest of the marine ecosystem. Scientists first started noticing a decline in Sea Star populations in 2013 and the cause for the decline is what is know as, Sea star wasting disease. “It was really striking to see the wasting sea stars. They kind of lose their internal body pressure, they develop lesions, they start to fall apart, drop their arms, so it’s really quite gruesome,&rdquo
A Red Sea Urchin of the Northeast Pacific, Strongylocentrotus franciscanus. Of urchins and amphipods and of beauty and bugs Text & Images by Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D. People who have read more than one of my musings generally are aware I like to discuss things that aren’t what they seem to be. And particularly, I like to discuss things that seem to be very obvious, but actually are more oblivious than obvious. So putting this all together, I like to discuss interactions that are obviously what they aren’t. A good case in point revolves around the large Red Sea Urchin of the Northeastern Pacific, Strongylocentrotus franciscanus. These are sea urchins that are far larger than the common sea urchins of reef aquaria.