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    Inicio > Historias > The revenge of the jellyfish

    The revenge of the jellyfish

    brave in front of the jellyfishIt looks like the title of a b-movie (in fact, there's The Year of the Jellyfish, a French movie), but it's happening all over the place on Spanish Mediterranean coasts. Climate change is the culprit, but not only... it happens also in places where intensive under-plastics agriculture is taking place, and guess where all those organic plant growth enhancers go? To phytoplankton, which grows without control, and can feed lots and lots of hungry jellyfish. That was one of the predictions in Timescape, by Gregory Benford, but he didn't go that step further that implied that if there's an algal bloom, there will also be a boom on those species feeding on them.
    Besides, all Spanish coasts are overfished, leaving only species with little or no commercial interest. Those species probably fed on the larvae of the jellyfish (mainly of the Portuguese Man-of-war and Mauve jellyfish species), which now, with no natural enemy, thrive. And adding insult to injury, the severe drought that Spain is suffering now decreases the amount of fresh water yielded by rivers to the sea, which makes salinity increase, which also increases the range of action of jellyfish, taking it closer to the beach.
    One of the main resources of Spain are those same beaches that are being invaded by jellyfish. If you can't go into the water, a beach is closer to a desert than to anything else. And it's happening now two years in a row. If it happens for three straight years, it might have severe economical consequences for Spanish economy. So let's just hope they'll melt and vanish. Or pray for the comeback of the sardines.

    2006-08-08 10:11 | 6 Comment(s) | Filed in

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    URL de trackback de esta historia http://blojj.blogalia.com//trackbacks/42105

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    1
    De: rvr Fecha: 2006-08-08 14:43

    «All Spanish coasts are overfished». Not all ;P



    2
    De: Estefanía Fecha: 2006-08-08 15:13

    The comeback of sardines?

    Jellyfish eat inmature ones!

    >:]



    3
    De: Anónima Fecha: 2006-08-08 15:18

    rvr,

    I really think _all_ spanish coasts are more or less overfished, even those
    farther away
    ...



    4
    De: Anónima Fecha: 2006-08-08 15:20

    Google adsense: "funny blog" "humor blogs"

    How do they know? :D



    5
    De: JJ Fecha: 2006-08-08 16:28

    Estefanía: I don't know if sardines eat jellyfish larvae or the other way round... if they do, they must eat at least something else, since there are millions of jellyfish, and very few sardines.



    6
    De: Estefanía Fecha: 2006-08-08 18:55

    [{http://darkmatter.blogalia.com/historias/42065
    http://darkmatter.blogalia.com/historias/42065}]

    "Pese a su aspecto frágil, las medusas son carnívoras: se alimentan de plancton, lo que incluye las larvas y huevos de muchas de las especies con interés comercial."

    "Las orillas del mar, densamente pobladas, son una continua fuente de nutrientes (nitrógeno, compuestos fosforados, basura al fin y al cabo) que está en el origen de la alimentación de las microalgas y las diminutas especies marinas del plancton. Una apetitosa sopa que no hay medusa que desprecie."

    "El aumento de la temperatura del agua ha hecho que estos animales encuentren cada vez más zonas aptas para reproducirse."

    "Llueve menos y cada vez más personas viven cerca del mar. El resultado es que los ríos aportan menos agua dulce al mar. Eso beneficia a las medusas, que necesitan la concentración de sal del agua para mantener un equilibrio entre los líquidos de dentro de sus membranas y el exterior (si hay mucha diferencia, la ósmosis las llenaría de agua hasta hacerlas reventar o las vaciaría)."

    "La mano del hombre está detrás de otro de los factores clave para que las medusas se multipliquen. La captura de grandes peces, como atunes, caballas, o la más accidental de tortugas marinas -se calcula que unas 25.000 caen cada año atrapadas en las redes de los grandes pesqueros- han dejado a las medusas sin enemigos."

    "El ambiente es tan agradable que, aparte de las especies endémicas del Mediterráneo, otras medusas de otros orígenes hayan empezado a reproducirse en algunos rincones del mar."

    "A la apertura artificial del Canal de Suez se une la llegada de nuevas medusas arrastradas por los cascos de los navíos que entran a través de Gibraltar. Hasta ahora, muchas de esas especies no sobrevivían al viaje, pero el calentamiento del agua hace que puedan cruzar el Atlántico desde zonas subtropicales hasta la enorme bañera que comparten el sur de Europa y el norte de África."



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