SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Marine biologists are finding more and more dead starfish along the West Coast. They say the creatures are dying of a disease that causes them to literally disintegrate.
All it takes is a small cut for the disease known as "sea star wasting" to set in. In British Columbia, the shallows were once full of oaker stars. Now it's a wasteland.
In the past, the problem was localized and associated with warm water episodes, but the latest outbreak is different.
The loss of the oaker star will send shockwaves through the ecosystem. With the die-off so widespread, scientists are struggling to find the cause.
The good news for the oaker stars is that although this disease is devastating, it's happened in the past, and they have survived.