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 November 22, 2014 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 November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Houston Zoo released video of a male baby okapi. Okapis, also known as the "forest giraffe", are native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Video is mute from source. (Nov. 20) 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