Japan’s Jellyfish Problem

Nomura Jellyfish

Nomura’s Jellyfish have been a threat for years to Japan’s coast as these massive Jellyfish continue to get trapped in fishing nets and wash up on shores. The jellyfish are so numerous in recent years that Japan has formed a committee to figure out how to combat these massive creatures.

There are several theories according to the Wiki on Nomura’s Jellyfish about why the species are growing in number ever more rapidly and these include:

  • China’s Three Gorge Dam pumping phosphorous and nitrogen into the water which makes a nutrient rich environment
  • Farm runoff increasing the nitrient in the waters
  • Over fishing killing the Jellyfish’s predators allowing them to propogate
  • Global warming making the ocean’s slightly more acidic which is more conducive to Jellyfish.

One of the most interesting and challenging things about trying to combat these Jellyfish is that when they attacked or killed the Jellyfish eject billions of eggs or sperm into the water to spread the species. These sperm and eggs collect on any objects in the water from the floor, coral, structures…etc

The Jellyfish live and cling to whatever surface they were attached to and when large enough they detach by the millions and free float through the water in giant clusters. This in itself is quite fascinating because just trying to capture, net, or kill the Jellyfish cause them to expand their numbers exponentially.

Japan has also turned to marketing Nomura Jellyfish as a food item to try and get its population under control even going so far as to make cookies and tofu out of them. Jellyfish collagen also has been shown to improve damaged human skin and they may be used in cosmetic products in the future.

This kind of reminds me of a poem I wrote called Toxic Jellyfish which I wrote as part of my Daily Twitter poetry game, but it came to mind again when I read about these Nomura’s Jellyfish.

-Justin Germino