Feb 15, 2013 – A surge in jellyfish blooms over the past decade has spawned similar blooms of public fascination with these sea drifters and their apparent saturation of our oceans. Images of fish nets and nuclear-plant intake pipes clogged with gelatinous sacks of tentacles have flared concerns for fisheries and public safety.
In the late 1930s, California’s sardines supported the biggest fishery in the western hemisphere, with more than half a million tons of fish caught each year. By the mid-1950s, the sardines had virtually disappeared. Although fishing pressure may have played a part in this process, new research published in the current issue of Science indicates that the sardines’ demise was part of a 50-year cycle that affects not just California, but the entire Pacific Ocean.