Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Giant Jellies Invade Gulf Of Mexico Threatening Shrimp Fishery

Date:
August 16, 2000
Source:
National Sea Grant College Program
Summary:
Giant "jellies" - up to two feet in diameter - have taken up residence in the northern Gulf of Mexico causing swimmers and fishermen to do a double take when they first spy them.

Giant "jellies" - up to two feet in diameter - have taken up residence in the northern Gulf of Mexico causing swimmers and fishermen to do a double take when they first spy them. Known as the "Spotted Jellyfish," these creatures don't threaten swimmers because their sting is mild compared to native jellyfish like the Sea Nettle. However, the jellies' threat to the area's ecosystems is yet to be determined. Similar alien jellyfish have caused major disruptions in marine fisheries in Europe - in some cases driving out other marine life.

Related Articles


"One of the biggest worries is that these jellies will feed directly on the eggs and larvae of the area's fish, shrimp and crabs. And doing so could have a serious effect on the commercial fisheries on the coast," says Monty Graham, senior marine scientist and Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant-funded researcher at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama.

Gulf of Mexico shrimp are the nation's second most valuable fishery, trailing only Alaska salmon. And the Gulf's commercial fisheries landings account for 40% of all U.S commercial landings.

Native to Australian coastal waters, the Spotted Jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata) have been migrating to the Caribbean for the past two decades, but have not been seen this far north. Their coastal invasion began in early June when it is believed the jellies, caught in the "Loop Current" that circulates through the Gulf, broke off the Loop into an eddy south of Alabama and the Florida panhandle. Satellite imagery from the Naval Research Laboratory at the Stennis Space Center confirms this.

At the present time the jellies seem to have taken up residence and spread out across the Mississippi Sound and along the Louisiana and Texas coasts to the west side of the Mississippi River. Arial surveys have shown that these jellyfish congregate in large patches - in some cases more than 2,000 jellyfish clustering in an area the size of a football field.

In response to this invasion, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium is providing $10,000 in emergency research funding to learn more about these invaders and their potential threat. Graham and Harriet Perry, Director of the Center for Fisheries Research & Development at the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, MS are heading up the research team. Though only in the early stages of their investigation, they have already found indications that the jellies are reproductively active and growing to their large size due to the algae-rich Mississippi Sound.

"Normally, this species of jellyfish only grows to six or eight inches in diameter," says Perry. "Some of the things we investigating are how widespread the invasion is, what their feeding habits are, how much they eat, and whether they can survive over the winter months in the Gulf waters."

Whether they can survive and become a new permanent resident to the northern Gulf of Mexico is a big question waiting to be answered.

"If they do survive the winter, next year the problems they cause will be much more serious then we are seeing now," predicts Graham. "These jellies and their effect on the Gulf's environment and commercial fisheries could be one of the area's biggest problems next year."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Sea Grant College Program. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Sea Grant College Program. "Giant Jellies Invade Gulf Of Mexico Threatening Shrimp Fishery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000811062654.htm>.
National Sea Grant College Program. (2000, August 16). Giant Jellies Invade Gulf Of Mexico Threatening Shrimp Fishery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000811062654.htm
National Sea Grant College Program. "Giant Jellies Invade Gulf Of Mexico Threatening Shrimp Fishery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000811062654.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Learn how to make a mixed green salad topped with a pan-seared camembert cheese in only a minute! Music: Courtesy of Audio Network. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) It looks like this 2-month-old Husky puppy and the family ferret are going to be the best of friends. Look at how much fun they&apos;re having together! Credit to &apos;Vira&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Buzz60 (Jan. 26, 2015) Swiss scientists build a new drone that can both fly and walk, modeling it after the movements of common vampire bats. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins