Giant jellyfish threaten Japanese fisheries

Honolulu Star Advisor

Swarms of giant jellyfish are floating along the coastline of the Sea of Japan, and the damage they have been causing fisheries is feared to be the worst in more than a decade.

Nomura’s jellyfish is one of the world’s largest, with a bell of up to 6-1/2 feet in diameter and a weight that can hit 440 pounds.

When tangled in fishing nets, the jellyfish can damage catches and destroy the nets. In 2009, the last time a jellyfish bloom occurred, it caused some $89.6 million in damage to the industry nationwide.

Nomura’s jellyfish are usually found off the coast of China in the spring. They are pushed by ocean currents and arrive in the waters near Japan in summer.

Only about 10 Nomura’s jellyfish have been caught in Japan fishing nets in recent years, according to the Japan Fisheries Information Service Center.

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