The Tech Herald

Scientists claim increasing world jellyfish population is bad sign for planet

by Rich Bowden - Aug 4 2008, 05:26

Img: Jellyfish. Credit: denn/flickr

The growth of jellyfish populations throughout the world's oceans has been linked to global warming, overfishing of natural predators, and an increase in pollution that has depleted oxygen in coastal waters, say Spanish scientists.

Researchers at the Institute of Marine Sciences at the National Research Council in Barcelona have said the increase in jellyfish numbers from Spain to Australia, Japan and Hawaii is a sign of the declining health of the world's oceans.

“These jellyfish near shore are a message the sea is sending us saying, ‘Look how badly you are treating me,’” said Dr. Josep-María Gili, a leading jellyfish expert at the Council to the New York Times.

The scientists blame the overfishing of natural predators of the jellyfish (such as tuna and sharks), pollution, and a warming of the world's oceans partly due to global warming as the cause for the increase in numbers.

The National Science Foundation released a statement saying: “Human-caused stresses, including global warming and overfishing, are encouraging jellyfish surpluses in many tourist destinations and productive fisheries.”

The Foundation has listed Australia, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, the Black Sea, Namibia, Britain, the Mediterranean, the Sea of Japan and the Yangtze estuary as the main problem areas.

“The problem on the beach is a social problem,” said Gili, referring to the problems of the numbers of jellyfish stinging swimmers in shallow waters. “We need to take care of it for our tourism industry. But the big problem is not on the beach. It’s what’s happening in the seas.”

Jellyfish are mostly harmless, though some deadly varieties do exist, and have been described by marine experts as the cockroaches of the sea thanks to being tough, durable and able to survive in damaged environments.

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus

From Autosaur.com

Average Guys With Average Cars. #average

Great new video from up-and-coming clothing brand the Average Squad. The short was posted by...

This Man Was Too Poor To Buy A Car. How He Treats Them Now Is So Touching

This is one of the most touching videos about cars in a long time. It tells the story of a m...

Lucky Escape from Out of Control Truck

This man had a lucky escape on a New Jersey Turnpike when he had to stop on the road du...

Concept Car Videos from Detroit Auto Show

As at every big car show manufacturers at the Detroit Auto Show 2015 were keen to give us th...

Concept Car Pictures from Detroit Auto Show

Well we still had a few pics from the in Detroit Auto Show to put up. These are some of...