Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Actions for Earth: Did you know that human activities in marine habitats are changing our eco-system?

Did you know that ...
UBC scientists examined data for 45 of the world's 66 large marine ecosystems and discovered increasing jellyfish populations in 62 per cent of the regions analyzed including East Asia, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the northeast United States shelf, Hawaii and Antarctica.

"There has been anecdotal evidence that jellyfish were on the rise in recent decades but there hasn't been a global study...
that gathered together all the existing data, until now," said Lucas Brotz, a PhD student with the Sea Around Us Project.

"Our study confirms these observations scientifically after analysis of available information from 1950 to the present for more than 138 different jellyfish populations around the world."

Jellyfish are generally regarded as a nuisance — although in some places in the world they are eaten — because they sting swimmers, clog intakes of marine engines and power plants, and interfere with fishing.

Daniel Pauly, the principal investigator of the project, said the expansion of human activity into marine habitats may be responsible for increasing jellyfish populations.

"We can also see that the places where we see rising numbers of jellyfish are often areas heavily impacted by humans through pollution, overfishing and warming waters."


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