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article imageGiant Jellyfish Sink 10-tonne trawler in Japan

By Bob Gordon     Nov 9, 2009 in Environment
Three Japanese fishermen had to be rescued earlier this month after a hoard of giant jellyfish capsized their 10-ton trawler.
The trawler, the Diasan Shinsho-maru, capsized off Chiba as its three-man crew was trying to haul in a Net containing dozens of huge Nomura's jellyfish.
"[They're] a jelly fish called Nomura, which is the biggest jellyfish in the world. It can weigh 200 kilograms, as big as a sumo wrestler and is 2 metres in diameter," Dr Anthony Richardson of CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The fishermen's nets occasional overfill with these jellyfish. Frequently, tackle, nets and other gear is damaged.In this case the attempt to haul the net in caused the trawler to capsize.
They have also become increasingly likely to appear in large, dense populations, in a phenomenon known as 'blooming'.
In The jellyfish joyride: causes, consequences and management responses to a more gelatinous future, published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution last month, Richardson and his colleagues attribute population blooming to a host of factors.
"Human-induced stresses of overfishing, eutrophication, climate change, translocation and habitat modification appear to be promoting jellyfish (pelagic cnidarian and ctenophore) blooms to the detriment of other marine organisms. "
For this reason jellyfish population explosions disrupt commercial fishing.
More about Jellyfish, Japan, Nomura
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