Large concentrations of jellyfish are increasingly being recorded worldwide. The main drivers of this are hypothesised to be as a result of increasing ocean temperatures and increases in prey availability. These factors are often influenced by anthropogenic activities that alter the characteristics of the oceans in favour of gelatinous zooplankton. The impacts of a bloomed population and jellyfish invasions on marine ecosystems and ecosystem services have historically been substantial, affecting a wide array of industries such as coastal tourism and recreation. Extensive jellyfish blooms have recently been recorded in the Mediterranean with ecological modelling predicting more common blooming events to occur in coastal areas off Britain and Ireland. Drawing on a combination of risk-based modelling and social science methods, this research considers the following key research questions:
- What do existing risk based models and frameworks reveal about the likelihood of future jellyfish population explosions off the coasts of Britain and Ireland?
- How may the impacts of jellyfish blooms alter these coastal ecosystems?
- What potential future economic losses could industries in risk areas incur following such blooms?
- How may stakeholder and public views and understandings of possible blooms impact on future policy options?
People involved: Adam Kennerley (PhD researcher)
Funding: UEA and Cefas
Supervisors: I Lorenzoni, T Luisetti