Scientists from UBC confirm an increase in Jellyfish numbers across the globe
Scientists from University of British Columbia have confirmed with concrete stats and evidence from numbers collected across the globe what many have been speculating for a while now. Those close to the shipping and fishing industries have said that they had observed a steady increase in Jellyfish population in the traditional fishing grounds and this has even become a hindrance at times. But there was no scientific data to back this claim; at least not till now.
Researchers and marine biologists from UBC have consolidated data from 45 of the 66 Large Marine Ecosystems spread across the world and have observed the numbers of various species of Jellyfish in these important marine regions. The numbers that have come in have shown an increase in Jellyfish population in 62 per cent of the regions among all the regions observed. This includes some of the richest marine ecosystems in the world like East Asia, Mediterranean, Northeast U.S. Shelf and Antarctica and also shows that the trend is more or less global and not limited to one specific region of the planet.
The conclusion was drawn after current data was compared with similar data available from 1950 for 138 different jellyfish populations from all corners of the globe. The interesting aspect of the study is that the population increase has been particularly significant in regions where human impact has considerably increased in the last 50 years and warmer waters and overfishing have destroyed most other species in local ecosystems. While this obviously is good news for the Jellyfish (they do seem fascinating and mysterious), scientists believe that this is definitely bad news for marine ecosystems across the globe.