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Swarms of Jellyfish Conquering Southern US Seaboard
September 20, 2011
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They're slippery. They're slimy. They're translucent pink/white, they're the size of large dinner plates, and - due to overfishing and climate change, some scientists say - moon jellyfish are booming off the coasts of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

"Humans may be responsible for this apparent increase in jellyfish blooms," according to the research bio of Lucas Brotz, a UBC Oceanography grad student who's researching trends in global jellyfish populations.

"Fishing, pollution, aquaculture, global warming and coastal development can all create conditions which favour jellyfish over fish."

It may not sound like that big of a problem - they're just magical creatures of airy wonder and light, right? - but commercial fishing, shrimping and tourism in the southern US seaboard region have all been adversely affected by the unchecked rise of the jellyfish.

A Mobile, Alabama businessman named Larry Scott, who fishes for shrimp to stock his bait shop, told the Alabama Press-Register: "It reached a point around the Battleship where we couldn't shrimp at all...for a while there, people couldn't even fish for speckled trout."

And though this particular breed of jellyfish has a weak sting that humans don't really feel, swimming through hundreds of densely packed buoyant bags of jelly isn't something the Alabama Board of Tourism is going to start promoting any time soon.

But that's not to say the news of this growing population is entirely bad; for those with adventurous tastes, the New York Times points to a recipe by Chef Angelo Sosa, for Marinated Jellyfish with Chili Oil with Green Apple Tea.

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