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Mass Dying Of Seastars In Howe Sound And Vancouver Harbour


Live-streamed on January 21, 2014

At the end of summer 2013, it became apparent that a wasting syndrome had spread through the extremely overpopulated sunflower sea star populations in Vancouver Harbour and Howe Sound. Sunflower sea stars appeared to have simply fallen ill; thousands died and disintegrated in shallow water where their numbers were most dense. What could have caused this massive die-off? 

In this video Vancouver Aquarium’s Vice President of Marine Science, Dr. Jeff Marliave and Staff Veterinarian, Dr. Martin Haulena explore the potential causes of the disappearing sunflower stars in Howe Sound and Vancouver Harbour.

Dr. Jeff Marliave has been studying the marine life in Howe Sound for over a third of a century. He has monitored prawn nurseries and glass sponge growth as indicators of environmental quality as well as conducted surveys to assist in the establishment of Rockfish Conservation Areas in Howe Sound.  Dr. Marliave has produced over 85 scientific and technical publications. 

Dr. Martin Haulena, graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1993 and completed a Master's degree in pathobiology from the University of Guelph in 1999. Dr. Haulena was the Staff Veterinarian at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA for nine years and is currently Staff Veterinarian at the Vancouver Aquarium. His special interests are in the medical management of aquatic animals—particularly marine mammals—with emphasis on innovative diagnostic methods such as MRI's, endoscopy and sonography, developing safe anesthetic protocols and improving surgical techniques.

 
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