Jellyfish overload could be result of wind farms

Too many jellyfish in the sea could be a result of offshore farms


Jellyfish overload could be result of wind farms

Noticing more jellyfish than usual on holiday? Offshore wind farms could be to blame.

Scientists say that offshore wind farms and oil and gas platforms are providing the ideal habitat for the creatures.

See also: Giant jellyfish spotted by divers in Mexico

See also: Huge jellyfish washes up in Devon

This is particularly being seen in the Adriatic, where populations of a species called moon jellyfish have boomed.

According to the Telegraph, in a report published in Environmental Research Letters, the team of Slovenian and Portuguese scientists said: "They preferably attach to downward-facing solid surfaces and since the availability of these is scarce in nature, they can be predominantly found on man-made structures."

The discovery, after a five-year study, has implications for British waters as hundreds of offshore turbines are under construction or planned, meaning a boom in jellyfish will continue close to home.

The BBC reports that there are around four times as many jellyfish in the Mediterranean as there was in 2004. Other factors cited are climate change, overfishing and pollution.

Marine biologist Professor Silvio Greco said: "The sea is full of them and it's a big problem for biodiversity." He explains how their spread is devastating marine food chains and ecosystems, and how illegal fishing of natural jellyfish predators like tuna and turtles has seen them multiply.

The answer? For us to start eating them. "Now man," he adds, "must be the new predator of jellyfish."

In fact, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation is encouraging eating jellyfish, too. Fishermen will often find their nets full of unwanted jellyfish that they simply throw back into the sea.

The BBC reports that Silvio hopes this will change and says that sustainability aside, "jellyfish is actually good for you: rich in protein and collagen, low in calories, and fat-free".

Scientists in Denmark have even created jellyfish crisps. Certainly an alternative to your usual cheese and onion...

World's strangest animals

World's strangest animals