I have photos of four different sea cucumbers decaying, but my friend claims to have observed around 10 dead sea cucumbers.
Observation by Jessie Endert:
My friend and I observed several sea cucumbers at various stages of decomposition at moderately low tides (-1.3 ft). I have photos of four different sea cucumbers decaying, but my friend claims to have observed around 10 dead sea cucumbers. We did not search the entire beach, so an actual estimate of dead sea cucumbers cannot be made.
Comment by Gary Freitag:
Looks like wasting disease to me. I know since they are echinoderms they are prone to it. I’m pretty sure these cucumbers are
Parastichopus californicus Giant red sea cucumber. They have a dive fishery in this area for them
Comments by Mandy Lindeberg:
Thanks for sharing. It does look like wasting disease. Three of the photos show the California sea cucumber (Apostichopus californicus). The first image looks like it might be the red sea cucumber (Cucumaria miniata). It is generally thought that all species of sea cucumbers are susceptible to the disease but some may be more resistant than others, something observed with various species of sea stars. The disease can be very contagious, hopefully the outbreak remains small.
Comment by LEO Network editors:
This is the first observation we have received in 2022 of wasting disease. See CDC news article about sea cucumber wasting near Vancouver in 2021 and LEO Network Post by Erica Lujan from Anchor Point in 2020.