Jellyfish Take Over an Over-Fished Area Critics of the fishing industry have long predicted that if over-fishing continues for much longer, "junk species" like jellyfish will start filling up the vacancies. Until recently, there was no evidence that the prediction would come true. But now, scientists report the largest jellyfish invasion ever, off southern Africa.
    Environment

    Environment Story Of The Day NPR hide caption

    toggle caption
    NPR

Jellyfish Take Over an Over-Fished Area

Jellyfish Take Over an Over-Fished Area

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5573968/5573969" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A medusa floats in the sea near the Adriatic town of Split, Croatia. Medusae are one of the species of jellyfish responsible for the bloom on the Namibian coast. Matko Biljak/Reuters/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption
Matko Biljak/Reuters/Corbis

A medusa floats in the sea near the Adriatic town of Split, Croatia. Medusae are one of the species of jellyfish responsible for the bloom on the Namibian coast.

Matko Biljak/Reuters/Corbis

Critics of the fishing industry have long predicted that if over-fishing continues for much longer, "junk species" like jellyfish will start filling up the vacancies.

Until recently, there was no evidence that the prediction would come true. But along the coast of Southern Africa, famously productive fisheries have crashed in recent years. In a new paper, English scientists say the spot on the food chain long occupied by these fish has now been filled by the largest jellyfish boom ever measured.

These jellyfish are said to be so dense that they cause trawling nets to burst at the seams.