Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8608
Title: Ecological and economic consequences of ignoring jellyfish:  a plea for increased monitoring of ecosystems
Author: Richard D. Brodeur, Jason S. Link, Brian E. Smith, Michael Ford, Donald Kobayashi, Todd T. Jones
Publication Year: 2016
Journal: Fisheries
Volume: 41
Issue: 11
Pages: 630-637
Keywords: jellyfish,survey,ecosystem

Gelatinous zooplankton can dominate the dynamics of marine ecosystems, have major ecological, social and economic impacts, are often indicative of broader ecosystem perturbations, and are increasingly being harvested by humans.  Yet fisheries scientists typically do not monitor these taxa on a regular basis, despite the existence of clear rationales and even mandated authorizations to do so.  Notably, the costs of monitoring jellyfish during regular fisheries research cruises would be a small increase over the cost of running a large fishery survey and a small fraction of the costs caused by impacts from these taxa.  As ecosystems experience increasing pressures from climate change and fisheries, we recommend considering routine monitoring before the some future jellyfish-associated crisis arises.


A multicenter and NOAA headquarters opinion piece suggesting a slight modification to our sampling regimes to account for the increased presence of jellyfish in our coastal ecosystems.

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Theme: Ecosystem approach to improve management of marine resources
Foci: Provide scientific support for the implementation of ecosystem-based management
Describe the interaction between human activities, particularly harvest of marine resources, and ecosystem function.