Starfish are sea stars and whatever you choose to call them they are living creatures and amazing animals.
As I’ve written this blog over the years, I’ve begun to realize that purchasing any type of seashell or starfish is not a good idea. The starfish pictured here were bought by me before I knew better. They were most likely collected alive from the ocean floor and left to dry out and die so a shop could buy them and make money. I also bought them to hopefully make money – from their images.
These days I search sites like Pixabay for my starfish images. I will not buy seashells or starfish or sand dollars.
Photos like this one have worked well for me as far as designing has gone. Using favorite photos, I isolated the sea stars, enhanced them a bit and put them back together to create a “couple”. I then used the two starfish to create stationery for sale in my Zazzle shop Sandpiper Wedding. Many couples getting married on the beach love to use starfish to represent their love for the sea. The set is a good seller as are other sets of stationery that feature sea stars.
Don’t Buy Starfish and Seashells
Whenever there is a demand for this type of thing, mainly for decorating a beach house or coastal residence, someone will collect sea life by the bushel to make money. They will not be scouring the beaches for hours in search of an already dead starfish. They go out and dredge the bottom of the sea and bring in living creatures. Once dead, those sea star exoskeletons are rigid and ready for sale, probably in bulk, to shops that specialize in coastal things.
Be Careful When Shell / Starfish Collecting
I also want to warn against collecting sea stars if you ever happen to come across them on the beach. You can read more on this post about that. And only empty seashells should be taken, if you want a souvenir.
For the most part, sea stars stay in the water. If they are up out of the water, they have probably been put there unintentionally either by a storm with high surf, or left stranded by a low tide. A predator bird could also have dropped it there. So the chance that you will come across a starfish, dried out and ready to take home, is unlikely.
Appreciating Sea Stars
If you find a beautiful sea star on the beach, take a photo. Assume it is alive, and maybe move it carefully to the water. It’s so easy to get photographic memories these days. Nearly everyone carries a phone everywhere they go. My photos of the Lined sea star and tiny sea star were taken with my phone.
Starfish / Sea Star Coloring Pages for Download
I also offer some free, printable pages with sea stars to color. Helping kids appreciate nature and sea life can go a long way to securing a good future for marine animals.
Right click and download any, or all images for personal or homeschool use. These images are copyright protected and are not to be offered for sale or in bulk.