When sea monsters threaten, eat them

December 7, 2005

Japanese fishermen report encountering an increasing number of "sea monsters" -- 6-foot-wide, 450-pound poisonous jellyfish.

Called echizen kurage, the jellyfish might well have been invented by a Japanese science fiction writer, but they are actually beginning to interfere with Japan's food supply, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

Echizen kurage, or Nomura's jellyfish as they are called in English, have long been a bother to fishermen in the Sea of Japan. But the number of jellyfish is rapidly increasing -- 100 times higher than normal in some areas -- and they are also being reported on the Pacific side of the nation.

The giant jellyfish clog fishing nets and, because of their weight, often break the nets or crush fish, the Times said. Some fishermen report an 80-percent decline in income.

Although the fish are more prized as food in China, Japanese consumers are beginning to eat them as a novelty food, sold dried and salted. Students in Obama have turned them into tofu, and jellyfish collagen is promoted as being beneficial to skin.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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