Scientists seeking the answer to why starfish are dying off along parts of the west coast are almost certain that they can cross radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster off the list of causes.
Near the ferry docks on Puget Sound, a group of scientists and volunteer divers shimmy into suits and double-check their air tanks.
They move with the urgency of a group on a mission. And they are. They’re trying to solve a marine mystery.
Scientists in two nations are on the lookout for an underwater epidemic that is killing starfish.
In September, divers in Vancouver Harbour and Howe Sound near Vancouver, British Columbia, noticed the pizza-sized starfish known as sunflower stars wasting away and dying in large numbers.