The coastal ecosystem from the US state of California to Oregon is facing the purple sea urchin 'army', with the number of urchins increasing by more than 10,000% since 2014, which is attributed to the rise in water temperatures. sea.
Millions of voracious purple sea urchins are gnawing on kelp forests off California and are "north" toward Oregon. Scientists are concerned that other species are at risk of starvation when the ecosystem is destroyed.
Gluttonous purple sea urchins are attacking the US coast - (Image: GUARDIAN)
Currently, an area of the Oregon coast alone has more than 350 million sea urchins , up 10,000% over the past five years, while in northern California, more than 90% of kelp forests have been destroyed to the point where perhaps will never recover.
US scientists are working with private parties to stop this purple army. However, this makes it difficult for boats to access dense kelp forests.
"You can't just go out and get rid of them. There are too many and we don't know what we can do," AP news agency quoted scientist Scott Groth of the Fish and Wildlife Service. of Oregon says.
One of the noticeable solutions is to promote the catching of this species and bring them to seafood markets, especially markets with high demand for sea urchins and seafood.
It is difficult to destroy all these "giant" sea urchins - (Photo: GUARDIAN).
The purple sea urchin boom is the latest in a series of glitches in the Pacific ecosystem in the United States.
Previously, kelp in this area was once affected by the warming of sea water in the Pacific Ocean. In 2013, a mysterious disease killed tens of millions of starfish, including a group that is the natural enemy of the purple sea urchin. Without enemies, this sea urchin grows out of control.
"We will see climate change play a big role in the kelp change and we are seeing it," said scientist Norah Eddy of California.