It’s a story we’ve written about for the last several years: Jellyfish swarms are becoming more common. For a while, the trend was noted only anecdotally, but last April, scientists from the University of British Columbia examined global data on jellyfish in a systematic fashion and confirmed that bloom of jellyfish are indeed on the rise.
Increases in the population of some type of jellies are linked to climate change, but a study out this spring identifies another major factor. The Institute of Research for Development has conducted a study that documents the impact of overfishing in the growth of jellyfish swarms. As predator fish that typically keep the number of jellyfish in check have been stripped out of the oceans by humans hungry for sushi, the world’s jelly populations have been free to reproduce in ever larger numbers. These larger swarms of jellyfish in turn gobble up the wee fish fry that might grow up to snack on the jellies.
This news is just one more source of information that refutes the claim commonly made by pro-industry lobbyists and regressive religious groups that the world is much too big to be impacted by human activity. With a population of over 7 billion and growing, the hungers of humanity have a real impact on the ecology of our planet.