Jellyfish Talk This Week in Newport, Central Oregon Coast
(Newport, Oregon) – Jellyfish are on the menu at an upcoming talk in Newport, on the central Oregon coast. Well, not literally, but they are the subject of a talk given by Dr. Richard Brodeur on December 18 at the meeting room of the Central Lincoln PUD. It is called "Jellyfish: More than Just Slime,” and it digs deeper into the mysterious creatures that look so different when they are on land than in water. (Jellyfish photo above courtesy Seaside Aquarium).
Brodeur is a renowned research fishery biologist with NOAA Fisheries at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. He will talk about jellyfish life history and ecology, the positive and negative effects jellyfish have on humans, and also how changing ocean conditions may favor continued increases in jellyfish blooms.
Brodeur says jellyfish populations are expanding in many areas worldwide, evident as “blooms,” or dramatic population concentrations. The population increases are caused by a variety of factors and include overfishing, climate change and warming of coastal oceans, introduced species, and pollution or coastal development.
“These blooms have important implications, because the jellyfish populations may compete with fish populations, prevent the recovery of depleted fish stocks, affect aquaculture operations, close beaches to tourism, clog intake pipes of power plants, and decrease the effectiveness of fishing gear,” Brodeur said.
Estimates are that their economic impact could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide in any given year, and there are currently no solid solutions to the problems they create.
These species range from very small comb jellies through enormous, 6-foot across diameter jellyfish in the Sea of Japan. Jellyfish can impact commercial fish species by feeding on their young or eating the same food types as the adults, thus competing for limited prey resources.
Although jellyfish provide some benefits to marine organisms and humans by providing food for our species and even shelter to others, Brodeur said their effects are generally negative for the most part.
Brodeur said his will talk about what is happening around the world and focus a some on the west coast and Bering Sea jellyfish situation.
This Yaquina Birders & Naturalists meeting starts at 7 PM at the Central Lincoln PUD (2129 North Coast Highway in north Newport. Cost: free. The public is welcome. For more info, call 541-265-2965.
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