The Oceanographic Institute of Monaco has recently focused on jellyfish – a sea creature of fascinating complexity. Jellyfish are slowly but surely taking over the oceans to the detriment of other marine species. And their growing numbers not just caused by climate change (the oceans get warmer), but also because of human activity.
Intensive fishing, plastic pollution, chemicals, pesticides… So many things that disrupt the balance in the oceans and threaten many marine species. But only one animal seems to take advantage of man’s misdeeds: the jellyfish.
Jellyfish kill five times more than sharks
Most specialists agree on one thing: jellyfish are thriving. Human activities allow jellyfish to reproduce at high speed. Overfishing, for example, leads to the disappearance of natural predators such as tuna or turtles. Some areas have been fished so much that the return of certain fish species is impossible, as jellyfish eat their eggs and larvae. As for plastic waste, it is an excellent support for jellyfish to develop and travel.
Did you know that jellyfish kill five times more than sharks? Fortunately, although painful, the stings of the species found in the Mediterranean sea are not fatal. But jellyfish can also be dangerous to our economies: many maritime activities suffer the torment of these animals. In early July, several thousand jellyfish nearly blocked the turbines of a power plant in Israel.
To learn more about jellyfish, you can visit the website of the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco, where you can learn why jellyfish sting.