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Monday, June 22, 2009

Jellyfish Jamboree--Are They Set to Seize the Seas?

Currently, at the Scientific America website is an interesting article about jellyfish. The article written by Katherine Harmon is called "Jellyfish Jamboree--Are They Set to Seize the Seas?" and includes a slide show of jellyfish. Katherine Harmon begins this article by stating:

"Bloomin' jellyfish! Overfishing, climate change and ocean dead zones may be downers for humans and other critters, but they turn out to be a boon for jellyfish schools, reports the recent "Jellyfish Joyride" paper in Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

A surge in jellyfish populations may eventually lead to what study authors call "a less desirable gelatinous state," which could have "lasting ecological, economic and social consequences."

To read the remainder of this article go to:

According to an article at:,,2-13-1443_2441803,00.html

"Huge swarms of stinging jellyfish and similar slimy animals are ruining beaches in Hawaii, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean, Australia and elsewhere, US researchers reported on Friday.

The report says 150 million people are exposed to jellyfish globally every year, with 500 000 people stung in the Chesapeake Bay, off the US Atlantic Coast, alone.

Another 200 000 are stung every year in Florida, and 10 000 are stung in Australia by the deadly Portuguese man-of-war, according to the report, a broad review of jellyfish research.

The report, available on the internet at, says the Black Sea's fishing and tourism industries have lost $350m because of a proliferation of comb jelly fish.

The jellyfish eat the eggs of fish and compete with them for food, wiping out the livelihoods of fishermen, according to the report.

And it says a third of the total weight of all life in California's Monterey Bay is made up of jellyfish.

Human activities that could be making things nice for jellyfish include pollution, climate change, introductions of non-native species, overfishing and building artificial structures such as oil and gas rigs.

Creatures called salps cover up to 100,000 sq km of the North Atlantic in a regular phenomenon called the New York Bight, but researchers quoted in the report said this one may be a natural cycle.

"There is clear, clean evidence that certain types of human-caused environmental stresses are triggering jellyfish swarms in some locations," William Hamner of the University of California Los Angeles says in the report.

These include pollution-induced "dead zones", higher water temperatures and the spread of alien jellyfish species by shipping."

According to J. E. Purcell, W. W. Graham, and H. J. Dumont, editors, in the book, "Jellyfish Blooms: Ecological and Societal Importance",

"Jellyfish are to the oceans what pigeons are to cities. Both animals seem to be able to flourish in environments that have been radically altered by human activities.

In many places around the world, jellyfish populations are dramatically increasing. Although the increase may be part of a natural cycle in some areas, the overall upward trend far exceeds anything that would be naturally expected. The suspected cause of the increase is human disruption of coastal ecosystems and other human-induced environmental stress, such as nutrification of the water from sewage or fertilizer runoff, overfishing of competitor fish species, depletion of sea turtle populations, and rising water temperatures from global warming.

The proliferation of jellyfish has caused record numbers of stings—some resulting in fatalities—of beachgoers and aquatic sports enthusiasts in Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia, among other places. Likewise, the booming jellyfish populations have wreaked severe economic damage in the Gulf of Mexico and some other places where fishing nets are now filled with slimy gelatin instead of succulent shrimp.

So again we have human actions causing a dramatic change in the natural balance of life in the World. Let us hope for the sake of those who like to visit and swim in the oceans of the world, that steps are taken to educate people about their role in the proliferation of jellyfish in the World's acquatic regions,so that behavioral changes will allow these jellyfish populations to be returned to what they used to be, in balance with the other life forms in the oceans and other water areas where
marine life exists on our planet.

So see a United States National Foundation video about jellyfish go to:

Source of image:

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.