Jellyfish taking over oceans, experts warn


The sun is shining, you're rolling in the waves, showing off the toned torso you worked on at the gym all winter.

Suddenly a sharp, burning sensation hits your skin.

You've just been stung by a jellyfish.

If experts' warnings are true, swimmers around the world can expect to experience these unwanted love taps in greater numbers than ever before.

"Jellyfish and tourism are not happy bedfellows," says Dr. Lisa-Ann Gershwin, author of the recently published book, "Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean."

Gershwin says popular beach resorts around the world are seeing huge increases in jellyfish "bloom" activity, a result of overfishing and changing water temperatures.

"The French and Spanish Rivieras, Chesapeake Bay, the Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii … some of the numbers are staggering," says the American scientist who's now based in Australia.

Written By: Karla Cripps
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  1. Jim Lad: “Hav yee ever bean stungd by one ov themz jeely-fishee-thingies, captin sir?”

    Captain Long John Silver: “Noarrgh Jim Ladee, but eye deed get meesell attangled up by wan o’themz wild, awrithin’ MERMAIDZ – in the Bahamaz!” 😉 m

  2. I suspect a lot of people imagine that if we right ocean conditions, the fish will automatically come back. Not so. Jellyfish eat the fry of fish. With a super abundance of jellyfish, the fish cannot restart.

  3. Hmm… parts of Africa needs food and we need to reduce the jellyfish population. I wonder if perhaps there were someway to solve both of these problems at the same time…

  4. It would appear that because of their short life-cycles and rapid reproduction, population blooms are likely to arise from a reduction in predators, coastal developments providing them with habitats, and pollution by humans increasing the plankton blooms they feed on. – (also called the moon jelly, moon jellyfish, common jellyfish, or saucer jelly)

    Aurelia aurita is known to be eaten by a wide variety of predators including the Ocean Sunfish (Mola mola), the Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), the scyphomedusa Phacellophora camtschatica,[11][12] and a very large hydromedusa (Aequorea victoria).[6] Moon jellies are also fed upon by sea birds, which may be more interested in the amphipods and other small arthropods that frequent the bells of Aurelia, but in any case, birds do some substantial amount of damage to these jellyfish that often are found just at the surface of bays.

    Some metazoan parasites attack Aurelia aurita, as well as most other species of jellyfish.

    The fact that predators like Leatherback Turtles are endangered must greatly reduce their consumption of jellyfish. Likewise, the reduction in some species of sea-birds.

    @OP – She says there’s no one single factor to blame for the rise in jellyfish populations, but rather places blame on a combination of overfishing, warming water, low oxygen and pollution.

    By fishing out jellyfish predators and competitors, humans are creating perfect conditions for jellyfish to multiply.

  5. Box jellyfish in Australia can be deadly to humans, its not just a matter of a little sting…

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