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Hundreds of dead starfish wash ashore in Goa, India

Scores of dead starfish washed ashore on Caranzalem beach just walking distance from the popular Miramar beach have baffled locals as their mortality had not been reported in recent years.

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Hundreds of dead starfish wash up on Falmouth beach, UK

Hundreds of dead starfish were found washed up on Castle Beach in Falmouth
Hundreds of dead spiny starfish were found washed up on Castle Beach in Falmouth last week after heavy winds hit the coastlines.
The starfish, also known as Marthasterias glacias, are a common species in our waters and one of the largest, growing up to 70cm across.
This incident is unusual, as it’s uncommon for large strandings of this species to occur but like all starfish, they are occasionally brought inshore by periods of unusually stormy weather and heavy surf.
Matt Slater, marine awareness officer at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said: “Scientists recently discovered that mass strandings of live starfish can be caused by heavy seas and strong currents moving over shallow waters.
“They roll up into a ball and cartwheel along the sea bed like tumble weeds. It is possible that this happened here and may be explained by the heavy surf that has been coming into Falmouth Bay recently.”
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1000+ dead starfish wash up on beaches in South Carolina, USA

Starfish Alert
Shannon Turbeville was walking the beach on Fripp Island on a Sunday evening when she stumbled upon a not-so-typical sight — more than 1,000 starfish cluttered the sand.
“Everywhere we went, there were clusters of them,” she told the Island Packet- Beaufort Gazette on Tuesday.
Other social media reports show large clusters of starfish (also called sea stars) and sand dollars washed up on other Lowcountry beaches this weekend including Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, and Hilton Head Island.
So what’s happening off Lowcountry beaches that’s pushing these creatures to shore?
Turns out, “mass starfish strandings” are more common than we think.
According to Jessica Miller, Naturalist at Fripp Island Resort, the island sees mass starfish strandings every winter that sees unusually cold temperatures.
“All those little marine animals that are ectothermic (cold blooded) like starfish, sea cucumbers, and snails can lose mobility and get dislodged from the sea floor if it gets too cold,” Miller said. She said groups of jellyfish are washed to shore by the masses for the same reason.
She added that the stranded animals may or may not be dead when they wash ashore, but it’s nothing to worry about.
Miller said that cold water temperatures in combination with strong winds and currents push these creatures to shore by the masses. On Christmas Day in 2014, an estimated 100,000 sea stars washed ashore Fripp Island.
David Lucas, a spokesman at SCDNR, said mass starfish strandings along the SC coast “are not uncommon” and officials usually see one or two incidents per year.
“They’re at the mercy of the currents and often get pushed ashore,” Lucas said in an email to the Packet. “Given the unusually low water temperatures that we’ve seen since New Year’s Day, however, it’s likely that cold weather is also playing a role in these strandings.”
Water temperatures off the Charleston coast were around 46 degrees Tuesday, according to NOAA, which is below the monthly 50-degree average for January.
What to do if you see a starfish stranded
Lucas said that SCDNR doesn’t have any official recommendations for people who discover these mass strandings. If the starfish or sand dollar looks alive, it might be best to throw it back into the ocean.
On Hilton Head, it’s illegal to take home any living beach fauna including starfish and sand dollars. It could result in a $500 fine.
“Unfortunately, quite often the animals stranded in this way will be already expired (or close to it) by the time they are noticed,” Lucas said. “So practically speaking, (throwing it back in the ocean) may not do much good. But there is also no reason for folks not to try it if they are moved to do so.”
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Thousands of starfish wash up on Portobello beach in Edinburgh, Scotland

Starfish washed up on Portobello beach
Thousands of starfish have been found washed up on Portobello beach in Edinburgh.
They were spotted on Sunday by local residents who were out walking in the coastal suburb.
Edinburgh-based Susan Tomes, who was on the beach with her family, told BBC Scotland: “It was the strangest thing I have ever seen on Portobello beach.
“We saw this pinkish drift before realising with horror that they were starfish – thousands of them.
“People were looking at it and wondering what had happened to them.
“We presumed they were dead because we prodded one or two of them with our feet and they didn’t respond.”
Some residents speculated that the marine invertebrates may have ended up on the beach as a result of Storm Eleanor.
In April, thousands of starfish were spotted washed up on a beach in the Highlands.
In that case, marine experts said the invertebrates may have got caught up by strong winds or tides as they changed location.
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Starfish wash up in their thousands in Skegness, UK

Matt Warman's photo of starfish washed up along the beach at Gibraltar Point, Skegness.
Matt Warman’s photo of starfish washed up along the beach at Gibraltar Point, Skegness.
The beach at Gibraltar Point was tinted orange after thousands of starfish washed up during strong winds. The striking image here was captured by Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman during a walk along the beach. He tweeted the image last week with the caption: “Huge numbers of starfish washed up at a very chilly Gibraltar Point this morning.” But despite the odd sight, experts at Skegness Aquarium and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust say it is a fairly common occurrence.
Aquarium curator Roxanne Prime said: “It’s common to find starfish washed up after a storm as the waves are too strong for them to stay attached to rocks and the sea bed using their tube feet. Since they can’t swim against the currents they then get carried away and wash up onto beaches and shores.” Rachel Shaw from Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust said that while it is not unusual for starfish to wash up on the sands at Skegness, not many people would get to see such a large number as strandings tend to happen during stormy winter weather when not many visit the beach. She added: “Once the tide goes back out they get left behind on the sand.”
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Thousands of dead starfish wash up on the coast of Sakhalin, Russia

28.11.17 Dead Starfish In Russia
Thousands of sea stars washed up on a beach in Russia on Thursday after a severe storm hit the coastal area. According to experts, it is a phenomenon that occurs more often, but local residents are alarmed.
After this week more than 130 seals washed ashore on the banks of the Russian Lake Baikal , residents of the village of Starodubskoe Thursday also a sinister discovery. Thousands of dead starfishes lay on the beach of Sakhalin, an island in the Russian Far East, which lies between the Sea of ​​Ochotsk and the Japanese sea.
Scientists assure that the massive death of sea creatures is not uncommon, especially after the passing of a severe storm, but local residents are convinced that environmental pollution is the real culprit.
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Hundreds of dead lobsters, starfish and crabs found washed ashore in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

These are just some of the estimated 100 lobsters Josephine Chubbs said washed up on the beach near her Norris Point home in December – ©Submitted photo
Josephine Chubbs was shocked on Dec. 17 to see a large number of sea creatures wash up on the beach near her Norris Point home.
Chubbs lives in an area known as Deckers Cove. “Our backyard is right on the ocean,” she said by phone Monday.
Dec. 17 had been a day of nasty weather that brought high seas and pretty cold temperatures. While snowblowing her husband picked up a lobster right in their driveway and brought it in the house. Not long after he went inside and told Chubbs to dress warm because they had to go down on the beach.
There they found hundreds of sea creatures washed up by the sea.
“I’ve seen caplin rolling, but never seen lobsters and connors and starfish and crab,” she said. “It was everything washing ashore.”
She estimates there were 100 lobsters alone. “It was babies, from two inches to measured (harvestable) lobsters.”
Chubbs, who is the custodian at the Bonne Bay Marine Station, was ready to do what she could to get the creatures to the tanks at the marine station, but everything was dead. “There was nothing that I could help save.”
She later called Bob Hooper, the retired MUN professor is the founding director of the station and still volunteers there, to get his thoughts on the discovery.
From the pictures she sent, Hooper was struck that there was a mixture of species, so he feels the creatures were not killed by a disease.
“Everything looked very healthy, apart from being dead,” he said.
He also noted that all the creatures washed up reach their northern limit in Newfoundland and are not things that are found in Labrador.
“The significance of that is it suggests that cold is the problem.”
He’s seen mortalities dozen of times between the fall and this time of year related to water temperatures getting close to and below freezing.
“Even it goes down a fraction of a degree it might make the difference between a connor being alive and a connor being dead.”
 He said the loss is probably worse than it looked, as it’s possible more creatures than what washed up were affected, but hopes it’s localized to the shoal waters in front of Chubb’s house.
He’ll be looking to confirm his hypothesis on what happened when he visits the marine station in the next while to download data gathered by a temperature recorder he has there.
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