Thursday, July 2, 2009 4:45 PM cstanton

Giant Jellyfish Travel To Japan

 A research team led by Shinichi Ue, a professor of biological oceanography at Hiroshima University, has had some very alarming findings off of the pacific coast of Japan. They have been monitoring the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea for jellyfish movement and found shocking numbers of Echizen jellyfish, also known as Nomura's Jellyfish. Nomura's Jellyfish are monsterous and can measure up to 6 1/2 feet and weigh up to 450 lbs. The scare is that they could very seriously negatively affect the fishing industry.


In 2005, Japan had suffered a similar invasion and it cost the industry billions of yen. The numbers recorded in 2007 weren't so great either, when they had measured .77 jellyfish per hundred cubic meters. In 2008, they had only measured .01 jellyfish per hundred cubic meters and the fishing industry did very well. This year, based on the study done in June, they have measured a ridiculous 2.14 jellyfish per hundred cubic meters. That's almost three times as many jellyfish as in 2007, and over 200 times the amount of jellyfish recorded in 2008.

At the peak of the largest invasion in 2005, there were said to be as many as 500 million gargantuan jellyfish floating through the Tsushima Strait each day. If each of those were to weigh 400 pounds, that would be 200 billion pounds of jellyfish flowing through the straight. While Japan is worried about these invasions, China has a positive outlook on it. In China, jellyfish is considered a delicacy. The Echizen jelly actually sells for 375 yen per half kilogram. 


While China is busy harvesting and munching down on these monster jelly's, the jellyfish are busy destroying fishing nets and capsizing trawlers and stinging fishermen. The jellyfish's only damage doesn't come from destroying nets though. They also sting and sometimes kill fish with their venom, decreasing the quality if not only the quantity of each catch. Hopefully Ue's research will help to prevent outbreaks like this in the near future. 

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