Jellyfish are appearing in coastal areas more frequently than before, a sign many scientists attribute to the damage we have done to the ocean. Because of coastal overfishing, we have eliminated nay jellyfish predators like shark, allowing jellyfish the freedom to move closer and closer to the shore. Global warming has also increased the temperatures of the worlds waters, making it more ideal for jellyfish growth. As jellyfish populations increase and their coastal predators decrease, we will continue to see more jellyfish appearing near the coast.
Many jellyfish are naturally coastal creatures, so their appearance near many coasts should not be a surprise.
However, there is evidence suggesting that overfishing causes “jellyfish blooms” – i.e., spikes in population – by decreasing the number of predators that could keep jellyfish numbers in check.
Jellyfish are not very fast swimmers, so they end up near the shore because of the tides. This is why you’ll see poor jellyfishes helplessly washed up on beaches, eagerly awaiting the next tide to drag them back in – if they’re lucky. Many types of jellyfish enjoy living in coastal waters – however some types do thrive in the deeper ocean. I am guessing it has to do with water temperature (since the water is warmer near the coastline). Additionally, it may be easier for them to tackle their prey in shallower depths than in deeper depths, as they use their tentacles to snag prey such as small fish, shrimp, and plankton. See the inks for more info.
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