Preface. The more climate change kicks in, the more we over-fish, pollute, acidify and warm the ocean, create vast dead zones, and trawl ocean bottoms, the better the jellyfish do.
It is quite possible that the ocean ecosystem will shift to favor jellyfish over other sea life.
We’ve already fished out 90% of all large fish in the ocean. And it’s only a matter of time before we find the other 10% with sonar, radar, LORAN, GPS, and spotter aircraft.
The United Nations has predicted all commercial fish species will be extinct by 2048. In 2002 we were fishing 72% of fish stocks faster than they could reproduce. 90 fish stocks around the world have had no recovery in population even 15 years after they collapsed.
Few small fish left, few big fish left – that opens up a lot of space for jellyfish to move in and take over. We’re creating a feedback loop that favors jellyfish.
Even if we stopped overfishing, polluting, and so on, once we tip the ecosystem into one controlled by jellyfish, they will become the “new normal” and that will quite likely be impossible to change.
And they’re awfully hard to kill. Chemical repellents, biocides, nets, electric shocks, and introducing species that eat jellyfish won’t do it. If you shoot, stab, slash, or chop off part of a jellyfish, it can regenerate lost body parts within two days. Not even the past 5 major extinction events which killed up to 90% of all life on earth killed off the jellyfish.
More jellyfish articles:
- Attack of the blob. Jellyfish are taking over the seas, and it might be too late to stop themBy Gwynn Guilford @sinoceros October 15, 2013
- 2019 A jellyfish ‘epidemic’ has Australian scientists wondering whether climate change is to be blamed
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