JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Problems

Jellyfish Problems picture

Jellyfish Problems

Jellyfish have recently been in news worldwide and not for the right reasons. The population of jellyfish is increasing dramatically across all the oceans of the world and causing innumerable problems to humans, especially those who live in coastal areas and depend upon the sea for their livelihood and to water enthusiasts, who swim, surf or dive in the ocean.

To begin with, jellyfish are among the most prolific creatures of the marine kingdom. There are over 2000 species of jellyfish and they are spread across all the seas and oceans of the world. You would be hard pressed to find a marine habitat that does not contain jellyfish. They can be found in the coldest, most freezing waters of the arctic oceans during the coldest months and warm and temperate waters of the tropical oceans. Various aspects of their defense mechanism allow them to not only escape predators, but also multiply in large numbers. On one hand they have venomous tentacles to fight off all predators, on the other hand, each jellyfish they has the ability to spawn thousands of jellyfish when it feels threatened.

Jellyfish are considered to be a pretty good group of animals to track marine ecosystems. When the number of jellyfish increases dramatically, it is a sign of a distressed marine ecosystem. Changes caused by global warming, for instance, increase in salinity of water along coastal areas due to decrease in rainfall, and by man made factors like over-fishing of their predators, have resulted in dramatic increase in jellyfish population and humans are now faced with dealing with the issues that come with overpopulation of jellyfish.

One of the biggest problems jellyfish pose to humans is the risk of being stung by their tentacles. The number of reported jellyfish stings across the world has risen drastically. While a lot of jellyfish stings do not cause any harm to humans, some of them are extremely deadly and can cause severe reactions in humans, and even death. The box jellyfish is considered to be the most dangerous jellyfish in the world found in Australian water and the number of deaths caused by them has increased in the last decade due to population explosion.

On the other hand, jellyfish that generally live in large swarms, sometimes as large as a billion strong, also hamper smooth movements of ships and carriers in the ocean. They tend to clog up their water inlet and it has to be cleaned of dead jelly mass to frequently to allow efficient operation of the vessel.

Jellyfish are also causing problems in fisheries across the world. The overfishing of their predators have caused a huge influx of jellyfish in coastal fishing areas. They tend to get caught up in fishing nets and large numbers and reduce the number of fish that can be caught. They also tend to entirely destroy fishing nets causing monetary damage. Additionally, they also tend to poison the catch of fish with their toxic venom making them inedible and completely useless.

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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