Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Thoughts on jellyfish

My post about yesterday's field work will be coming soon, but I thought you guys might be interested in this article from Sunday's NYTimes:

Stinging Tentacles Offer Hint of Oceans’ Decline

"But while jellyfish invasions are a nuisance to tourists and a hardship to fishermen, for scientists they are a source of more profound alarm, a signal of the declining health of the world’s oceans.

“These jellyfish near shore are a message the sea is sending us saying, ‘Look how badly you are treating me,’ ” said Dr. Josep-MarĂ­a Gili, a leading jellyfish expert, who has studied them at the Institute of Marine Sciences of the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona for more than 20 years.

The explosion of jellyfish populations, scientists say, reflects a combination of severe overfishing of natural predators, like tuna, sharks and swordfish; rising sea temperatures caused in part by global warming; and pollution that has depleted oxygen levels in coastal shallows."

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