Jumpin’ Jellyfish

Numbers Explode with Ocean Warming and Overfishing




Favorite destination beach resorts around the world have seen huge increases in jellyfish “bloom” activity. “Jellyfish and tourism are not happy bedfellows,” says Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin, Ph.D., a pioneering marine biologist and author of Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean. “In Florida, it’s not uncommon in recent years for a half a million people to be stung during an outbreak.”

A report, Review of Jellyfish Blooms in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, written by Fernando Borea for the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean and the United Nations, cites both global warming and overfishing, which removes jellyfish predators, as causes for recent jellyfish population explosions.

Of the more than 2,000 species of jellyfish swimming through the world’s waters, most are completely harmless. However, human contact with some types can cause excruciating pain, and the box jellyfish is among the handful of species that have caused fatalities around the globe.

Gershwin says, “Australia is upfront about its jellyfish dangers and also assertive in safety management, whereas other places have them, but may understand less about them or in some cases, just don’t want to say. Tourists need to be aware of local hazards and not expect to necessarily be provided with pertinent information.”


Source: CNN

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Migrating Trees

Three-quarters of American tree species have shifted to the West since 1980 due to dryer conditions in the East and changing rainfall patterns.

Plutonium Problem

To safely dispose of 56 million gallons of nuclear waste dating back to the Second World War, the Department of Energy might replace a glass-log encasement plan with a cement option.

Bat Banter

Computer algorithms helped Israeli researchers decode the language of Egyptian fruit bats and discover that bats exchange information about specific problems.

Tuna Turnaround

Levels of toxic mercury in Atlantic Bluefin tuna declined 19 percent between 2004 and 2012, a drop that scientists attribute to a shift from coal to natural gas and renewable energy.

Buzzing RoboBees

Harvard researchers have invented tiny robotic bees that may be able to eventually pollinate the crops that are under threat because of vanishing bee colonies.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags