Sunflower Sea Star Restoration

Since 2014, the Sunflower Sea Star has basically vanished from much of its range due to the wasting disease that causes the stars to fall apart. We know that this sea star is one of the only predators of purple urchin, and given the overabundance of purple urchin, the subsequent urchin barrens and loss of kelp forests, supporting their recovery is a priority. A team of scientists at the University of Washington are raising these animals in the hope of deploying a restoration strategy. The success of a captive breeding program such as this gives hope for this species, and demonstrates the value of aquaculture.