Starfish death investigation turns up no answers


Picture: Holly Brown/ Facebook
Picture: Holly Brown/ Facebook

AN investigation into the death of about 200 starfish that washed up on North Coogee beaches has returned very little.

In a statement, the Department of Fisheries said samples taken from the area showed no “significant lesions or abnormalities to indicate the presence of disease or parasitism”.

“Some aquatic animals perish when they are reproductively active and this is part of their natural lifecycle,” the Department said.

“Also, animals such as these can be washed ashore when swells increase or change and when there are storms.

“Larger than normal swells just prior to the initial report of dead starfish may have been a contributing factor.”

Large swells had been put forward as a likely cause by Cockburn’s engineering and works director Charles Sullivan when the Department revealed it was investigating reports of between 100 and 1000 dead starfish on August 3.

“The sea stars live in the sand close to the beach and, given they are so light and have no ability to anchor themselves, they can easily be washed up by large waves,” he said.

The starfish were found between South Beach and CY O’Connor Beach.

No other dead aquatic animals were reported or sighted.

Fish kills should be reported to the FishWatch hotline on 1800 815 507.