Jellyfish on the Rise? | DocFilm | DW | 11.07.2019
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DocFilm

Jellyfish on the Rise?

Will jellyfish conquer the oceans of our earth in the future? Jellyfish can destroy entire fish farms and even bring coastal nuclear power stations to a standstill. Scientists are now investigating their meteoric rise

Watch video 42:36

Research is still in its early stages, but experts already agree: The global jellyfish population explosion indicates something is wrong in the oceans - a complex ecosystem is out of balance. Man could actually be responsible for this new state of affairs: Overfishing has wiped out many of the jellyfish’s rivals, so fewer fish means a suddenly abundant supply of food that supports an ever growing jellyfish population. Wastewater discharged into the sea and the nutrients it carries also boosts the reproduction of animal plankton, the microscopic crabs that jellyfish feed on. Global warming is also stimulating jellyfish polyps to produce more offspring. Not only that: The increase in CO2 is making the oceans more acidic and that endangers organisms with calcareous skeletons because acid dissolves their bones, whereas jellyfish do not have skeletons at all. Jellyfish are also spreading across the seas by hitching a ride in the ballast tanks of large container ships. Combed jellyfish from the western hemisphere have now appeared in the Black Sea and are threatening some fish stocks. The documentary looks at the hotspots of jellyfish research in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, North Sea and Baltic, plunging deep into the fascinating world of jellyfish.