Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Jellyfish Joyride' A Threat To The Oceans

Date:
June 10, 2009
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
Early action could be crucial to addressing the problem of major increases in jellyfish numbers, which appears to be the result of human activities. New research presents convincing evidence that this "jellyfish joyride" is associated with over-fishing and excess nutrients from fertilizers and sewage.

The numbers of jellyfish, like this 'Catostylus', appear to be on the increase due to a combination of pollution, overfishing and climate change.
Credit: Lisa Gershwin, Reef HQ

Early action could be crucial to addressing the problem of major increases in jellyfish numbers, which appears to be the result of human activities.

Related Articles


New research led by CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship and University of Queensland scientist, Dr Anthony Richardson, presents convincing evidence that this ’jellyfish joyride’ is associated with over-fishing and excess nutrients from fertilisers and sewage.

“Dense jellyfish aggregations can be a natural feature of healthy ocean ecosystems, but a clear picture is now emerging of more severe and frequent jellyfish outbreaks worldwide,” Dr Richardson says.

“In recent years, jellyfish blooms have been recorded in the Mediterranean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Black and Caspian Seas, the Northeast US coast, and particularly in Far East coastal waters.

“The most dramatic have been the outbreaks in the Sea of Japan involving the gargantuan Nomura jellyfish which can grow up to 2 m in diameter and weigh 200 kg.”

The new research, by Dr Richardson and colleagues at the University of Miami, Swansea University and the University of the Western Cape, has been published in the international journal; Trends in Ecology and Evolution, in time for World Oceans Day on 8 June.

“Fish normally keep jellyfish in check through competition and predation but overfishing can destroy that balance,” Dr Richardson says. “For example, off Namibia intense fishing has decimated sardine stocks and jellyfish have replaced them as the dominant species.”

Climate change may favour some jellyfish species by increasing the availability of flagellates in surface waters – a key jellyfish food source. Warmer oceans could also extend the distribution of many jellyfish species.

“Mounting evidence suggests that open-ocean ecosystems can flip from being dominated by fish, to being dominated by jellyfish,” Dr Richardson says “This would have lasting ecological, economic and social consequences.

“We need to start managing the marine environment in a holistic and precautionary way to prevent more examples of what could be termed a ‘jellyfish joyride’.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Richardson et al. The jellyfish joyride: causes, consequences and management responses to a more gelatinous future. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 2009; 24 (6): 312 DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.01.010

Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "'Jellyfish Joyride' A Threat To The Oceans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090609092057.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2009, June 10). 'Jellyfish Joyride' A Threat To The Oceans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090609092057.htm
CSIRO Australia. "'Jellyfish Joyride' A Threat To The Oceans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090609092057.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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