Jellyfish smack, def.: An aggregation, bloom or swarm of jellyfish
Welcome to Smack Talk! This newsletter comes to you from the NCEAS working group on jellyfish blooms. Read on to learn more. Entries will be added periodically so be sure to check back.
"Implications of increased carbon supply and artificial habitat for the global expansion of jellyfish blooms", emerging issues workshop prior to ASLO meeting
11 - 12 February 2010, San Juan, Puerto Rico
"The Relevance of Jellyfish Blooms in the Changing Global Oceans", session at the winter ASLO meeting
13 - 18 February 2010, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Jelly Blooms Outreach Event at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Saturday, 20 November 2010
-- Dr. Kelly Sutherland, California Institute of Technology (and Smack Talk editor)
On 20 Nov, 2010 the Global Jellyfish Group hosted the Jellyfish ROCK outreach event at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum. For those not aware of these festivities, this was a free event to the public as part of a project sponsored by NCEAS in order to raise awareness in the community about jellyfish blooms. The event was a huge success with over 170 people attending. Included on You Tube are Jim Knowlton's introductory jellyfish video montage, set to music, three 5 min science presentations, an on-stage discussion with Larry Madin and a Q&A session. There are nine video clips in total with the links listed below.
With the help of Emily Yam at the Aquarium of the Pacific, we also held a Jellyfish Art Contest in conjunction with the event for children all over the world. This was also a huge success with over 560 entries from 14 countries and plans are underway to produce a children's picture book comparing the artwork to real jellyfish photos.....all we need is a publisher now! All of the children's artwork will be up on the www.jellywatch.org/blooms page soon, and the winning entries were awarded prizes at the event (You Tube video part 6).
Thanks everyone who took part in this successful event. Happy viewing!
-- Dr. Rob Condon, Dauphin Island Sea Lab (Alabama, USA)
You Tube links for Jellyfish ROCK videos:
Intro Video by Jim Knowlton - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp8FXCywA2U
Part 1: Intro Comments - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkjxUDc6_WI
Part 2: 'What is a jellyfish?" - Cathy Lucas
Part 3: 'The Good, The Bad & The Beautiful' - Kylie Pitt
Part 4: 'Are jellyfish increasing globally' - Rob Condon
Part 5: 'Inside the Jellyfish Scientist' - Larry Madin
Part 6: International Jellyfish Art Contest Prizes - Emily Yam - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg9x5Patntg
Part 7a: Q&A part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eqi-U2NF-k
Part 7b: Q&A part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC85HBbrheE
Are jellyfish always bad? How many kinds of jellyfish are there? Can jellyfish be beautiful? These questions and many others were addressed at Jellyfish ROCK -- a fun and educational event hosted at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History on Saturday, November 20, 2010.
The Jellyfish Working Group, which is sponsored by the National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis (NCEAS), hosted a successful and FUN outreach event to teach the general public about jellies and jellyfish blooms, the good and the bad aspects of jellies, and their importance to both coastal communities and to ocean ecosystems around the world. Called Jellyfish ROCK: Reaching Out to the Community & Kids, the event certainly generated enthusiasm from community members eager to learn about the diversity and beauty of jellies! More than 170 attendees of all ages converged at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History for the interactive evening of videos, presentations from international jellyfish experts, live jellyfish, and children’s artwork from around the world. It’s safe to say that the event was a BIG success for all involved, and NCEAS is certainly proud to have sponsored both Jellyfish ROCK and the jelly working group that inspired it!
In conjunction with the Jellyfish ROCK outreach event, the Jellyfish Working Group partnered with the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach to host an International Jellyfish Art Contest. The call for art yielded 561 entries from students aged 2-12 years old who submitted collages, multimedia sculptures, drawings, paintings, and photographs. The talented students represented 14 countries: Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, India, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States!
-- Robin Vercruse, National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis
We owe a tremendous thank you to our volunteer judges: Mike Carpenter, Ben Ciccati, Sue DiCicco, Peter Gaede, Katie Longo, and Lindsay Scheef. We awarded a total of 12 prizes, which were made possible by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation. The grand prize ‘best in show’ went to 11-year old Martina Daoust from Lake Elsinore, CA. Most importantly, thanks to all of scientists for the outstanding effort in soliciting artwork from your local communities and the contest support provided by Rob Condon and Robin Vercruse.
The contest success highlights the remarkable impact of communicating science through the arts.
-- Emily Yam, Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific
13 July - 16 July 2010 Mar del Plata, Argentina Hosted by Argentinean
Association of Marine Sciences and the National Institute for Fishery
Research and Development
There is a general impression that jellyfish and other gelatinous organisms are increasing in number. Media, TV, and newspapers contribute to this impression. So are increases in jelly populations real, or is this phenomenon just a biased perception? Answering this question is a difficult task because jelly populations normally fluctuate enormously, being everywhere some years, and impossible to find in others. It is also true that occasional swarms of great density have a notorious effect on many human economic activities such as tourism, fisheries and various coastal industries.
Ten years ago the first Jellyfish bloom meeting was envisioned. Held at Gulf Shores, Alabama in January 2000, it was a response to the need to consider the ecological as well as societal aspects of jellyfish blooms. The main objective was to come together and find a unified voice that would direct new fields of research on the subject. The second International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium was held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia in June 2007, and the general message was to examine the problem on a wider scale, encouraging people to consider the use of fisheries as well as molecular techniques for jellyfish research. And presently, special sessions on gelatinous plankton can be found in general meetings like the Nice ASLO meeting in January 2009. In each of the three cases mentioned, about 60 talks and posters were presented and a special volume published.
What is our ultimate goal? To understand the dynamics of jellyfish blooms at a global scale. The third Symposium reaches us at the right time. We are facing clear examples that some jellyfish species are increasing their frequency of occurrence, expanding their geographical distributional range, being introduced, with sometimes devastating consequences on human enterprises. Mnemiopsis leidyi, the ctenophore that gained a “bad reputation” by invading the Black Sea in the 1980s is continuously expanding its range and every year it is found in new localities. Nemopilema nomurai, a giant Asian scyphozoan, undertakes inter-annual population explosions generating severe damage to the Japanese Fishing Industry in the last ten years. Even nuclear power stations occasionally need to stop their activities due to jellies that have clogged their refrigerating water intakes. And more and more examples are continuously being reported.
Within this third meeting, attention is placed on fish-jellyfish interactions, and fisheries. More than a hundred talks and posters will be presented by delegates from 34 countries. Dr. Daniel Pauly will offer an opening talk about "Changes of jellyfish abundance: testing hypotheses at the Large Marine Ecosystem scale". Dr. Jenny Purcell will run a special session on “Causes and consequences of Jellyfish Outbreaks and Aggregations” with an invited speaker Dr. Shin-ichi Uye, who will talk about “Tackling the giant jellyfish (Nemopilema nomurai) plague: cause, forecast and countermeasure. Dr. Rick Brodeur will speak about “Interactions between jellyfish and marine fish and fisheries: insights into ecosystem functioning”.
In the words of Jennifer Purcell and Dror Angel “this is an exciting time in jellyfish research”, so we expect the meeting to continue the success of previous ones and the volume to become a useful reference text. We hope to make this meeting and your visit to Argentina a memorable one.
Un saludo cordial
-- Dr. Hermes Mianzan, Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP)
(Mar del Plata, ARGENTINA)
Dear jelly readers,
“Jellyfish taking over the seas” is typical of the headlines used by the media when reporting about jellyfish. But are jellies really becoming more common in our coastal waters? More and more people enjoy spending time out on the water hence people are encountering jellies more often. So are increases in jelly populations real, or is this apparent phenomenon just a biased perception? Answering this question is difficult because jelly populations fluctuate enormously – some years they seem to be everywhere, but at other times they’re impossible to find. To answer the question of whether jelly populations are increasing, therefore, we need data collected over very long periods of time.
Unfortunately for scientists, long-term data sets on jellies are very rare. However, there may be valuable records of jellies, which could help us answer this question, that may be tucked away in archives and not known about by scientists. For example, community groups that care for beaches may have kept notes each time they noticed jellyfish being washed ashore. Power stations and other coastal industries that draw cooling water from the sea may have records of every time jellies have clogged their intakes. If you know of any long-term records of jellies, please let us know! Such information could be extremely useful in helping the scientists to work out, once and for all, whether jellies really are “taking over the seas”.
-- Dr. Kylie Pitt, Griffith University, Australia
At the National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis (NCEAS), we are excited to host the "Global expansion of jellyfish blooms" Working Group, led by Rob Condon, Monty Graham, and Carlos Duarte.
Over the past 15 years, we have hosted a great deal of work on marine ecology, conservation and management - from basic questions about marine biology to identifying and addressing human impacts in marine systems.
The Jellyfish Working Group is addressing a timely issue, for which the analysis and synthesis of existing data is vital in order to move forward in both the fundamental understanding and the management of marine environments - jellyfish blooms have been conspicuous around the world, many hypotheses have been advanced to explain them, and many impacts have been observed or anticipated. Assembly and analysis of existing data will allow rigorous examination of these issues, not only for this Working Group but also for other scientists and managers, now and in the future.
The Jellyfish Working Group is certain to find synergies with another ongoing NCEAS Working Group on Marine Impacts of Climate Change (led by Anthony Richardson and Elvira Poloczanska) and potentially other Working Groups in our Ecosystem-Based Management program as well. In addition to the scientific outcomes, we look forward to hosting a public lecture and mixer, in November 2010, to share information about jellyfish and jellyfish blooms with Santa Barbara area residents and interested members of the public who can access the event around the world through webcasting. The public event will be co-hosted with the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, as part of their popular seminar and event series, and we hope that it is only the first of many on which we collaborate with the Museum. More information about the event to come!
-- Dr. Stephanie Hampton, Deputy Director at NCEAS