Dead Jellyfish Blooms Vital To Deep Sea Ecosystem Health, Study Finds

February 7, 2015 in Animals & Insects

Dead jellyfish blooms appear to be vital to the health of many deep-sea ecosystems, based on new research National Oceanography Centre that investigated the speed at which these dead blooms are eaten.

It had previously been thought that when large blooms of jellyfish died that they often simpy fell to the ocean floor and rotted, rather than being eaten, as the sheer quantity excluded the eating of all of the bloom — thereby depleting the oxygen on the ocean floor, and creating a dead zone of sorts. The new work suggests that these assumptions were off-base.

Jellyfish blooms
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Overfishing Causing Jellyfish Population Boom, Research Finds (+Recent Examples Of Overfishing)

May 16, 2013 in Animals & Insects, Humans

Jellyfish populations around the world have been increasing in recent years, and several very large jellyfish blooms have been reported since the early 2000s. The cause of these, and the general population increase, has remained somewhat unclear until now though. Is it simply observation bias? Cyclic population change? Warming waters? Changing currents?


But now, thanks to new research from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), the causes have become clear. The primary cause is overfishing, and with it the decline of many ecologically important species. Many significant predators of jellyfish, such as tuna and sea turtles, have seen their numbers plummet in recent years as a result of overfishing. And with their decline, jellyfish have begun to see their populations grow. But perhaps far more important than that decline, though, is the overfishing of small pelagic fish, such as sardines and herring, which are the main competitors of jellyfish.

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