A research challenges the theories on the global increase in jellyfish population

February 22, 2012

An international research, involving the participation of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), provides a new perspective on the jellyfish proliferation in world's oceans. This phenomenon has noticeably impacted on beaches around the world in recent years and has provoked the concerns of fishermen and bathers. However, according to the group of experts leading this new research, there are no "conclusive evidences" that point to global increase in jellyfish population.

The news rise in Mass Media on blooms and the discrepancies in climate and science reports have motivated the article, published in the latest issue of the BioScience magazine. According to the experts, jellyfish population has increased in several regions but has decreased or fluctuates through decades in others. They believe that the key to solve this question relies on understanding the data obtained in the long-term.

Carlos Duarte, CSIC researcher, states: "The significance of this work lies in putting data in common from now on so we will be able to support theories with contrasting scientific data and not ". Duarte is one of leaders of the Global Jellyfish Group, a consortium of 30 experts in gelatinous organisms, climatology, oceanography and socioeconomics.

Global database

In order to monitor the evolution of jellyfish populations, the scientists are already working on a with the information compiled since 1750. This future catalogue will comprise about 500.000 data. The Global Jellyfish Group's initiative develops within the framework of the National Center for and Synthesis, associated to the University of California, in Santa Barbara (USA).

The analysis of this repository will enable scientist to evaluate key aspects such as the relation between human activity and jellyfish blooms, knowing if these are caused by natural causes, or finding out if more attention is paid to this phenomenon due to its direct impact on sectors such as fishing or tourism.

Duarte adds: "it is fundamental to get the right answer in order to make decisions about tourism, fishing and marine ecosystems management".

Explore further: When sea monsters threaten, eat them

Related Stories

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.

Dutch zoo breeds own jellyfish

September 29, 2007

Marine biologists at a Dutch zoo say they have succeeded in the difficult task of breeding jellyfish in captivity.

Jellyfish counterattack in winter

December 13, 2010

A study carried out over 50 years by an international team, with the participation of the Balearic Oceanography Centre of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) has confirmed an increase in the size and intensity of ...

Spanish resort in jellyfish alert

May 27, 2011

Authorities in the Spanish tourist hotspot of Benidorm said Friday they have reopened its beaches to tourists after removing more than a tonne of dangerous jellyfish.

Global experts question claims about jellyfish populations

February 1, 2012

Blooms, or proliferation, of jellyfish have shown a substantial, visible impact on coastal populations – clogged nets for fishermen, stinging waters for tourists, even choked intake lines for power plants – and ...

Recommended for you

Study suggests fish can experience 'emotional fever'

November 25, 2015

(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers from the U.K. and Spain has found via lab study that at least one type of fish is capable of experiencing 'emotional fever,' which suggests it may qualify as a sentient being. In their ...

New gene map reveals cancer's Achilles heel

November 25, 2015

Scientists have mapped out the genes that keep our cells alive, creating a long-awaited foothold for understanding how our genome works and which genes are crucial in disease like cancer.

Insect DNA extracted, sequenced from black widow spider web

November 25, 2015

Scientists extracted DNA from spider webs to identify the web's spider architect and the prey that crossed it, according to this proof-of-concept study published November 25, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Charles ...

How cells in the developing ear 'practice' hearing

November 25, 2015

Before the fluid of the middle ear drains and sound waves penetrate for the first time, the inner ear cells of newborn rodents practice for their big debut. Researchers at Johns Hopkins report they have figured out the molecular ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.