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Swarm of Giant Jellyfish Capsize 10-Ton Trawler 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the we're-gonna-need-a-bigger-boat dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that the Japanese trawler Diasan Shinsho-maru has capsized off the coast of China, as its three-man crew dragged their net through a swarm of giant jellyfish (which can grow up to six feet in diameter and travel in packs) and tried to haul up a net that was too heavy. The crew was thrown into the sea when the vessel capsized, but the three men were rescued by another trawler. Relatively little is known about Nomura's jellyfish, such as why some years see thousands of the creatures floating across the Sea of Japan on the Tsushima Current, but last year there were virtually no sightings. In 2007, there were 15,500 reports of damage to fishing equipment caused by the creatures. Experts believe that one contributing factor to the jellyfish becoming more frequent visitors to Japanese waters may be a decline in the number of predators, which include sea turtles and certain species of fish. 'Jellies have likely swum and swarmed in our seas for over 600 million years,' says scientist Monty Graham of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama. 'When conditions are right, jelly swarms can form quickly. They appear to do this for sexual reproduction.'"
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Swarm of Giant Jellyfish Capsize 10-Ton Trawler

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  • by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @12:15PM (#30022456)
    But didn't human error capsize this ship?
    • by 2.7182 (819680) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @12:22PM (#30022530)
      No. Let's be clear about this. These jellyfish has bred near a nuclear reactor, and in addition to being intelligent, are quite evil. They did it. And they did it on purpose.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by OzPeter (195038)

      But didn't human error capsize this ship?

      Another fine first post wasted by common sense and intelligence.

    • by chriss (26574) * <chriss@memomo.net> on Sunday November 08, 2009 @01:04PM (#30023002) Homepage

      In 2007, there were 15,500 reports of damage to fishing equipment caused by the creatures.

      In other news: Last year several thousands of SUVs were damaged by children who, for some reasons, were not constrained by their parents to stay inside all the time and instead failed to stay at the proper speed to move smoothly with the traffic. Due to the excellent structural protection from the SUVs their drivers did not suffer major physical injuries.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 08, 2009 @01:33PM (#30023270)

        In 2007, there were 15,500 reports of damage to fishing equipment caused by the creatures.

        In other news: Last year several thousands of SUVs were damaged by children who, for some reasons, were not constrained by their parents to stay inside all the time and instead failed to stay at the proper speed to move smoothly with the traffic. Due to the excellent structural protection from the SUVs their drivers did not suffer major physical injuries.

        It's not nearly as bad as you make it out to be. If you get the really big tires the little brats never even mess up the paint. Oh sure, sometimes a bicycle will damage a tire sidewall, but that's what roadside assistance if for, right?

    • But didn't human error capsize this ship?

      Seems likely.

      The article at Telegraph states: "The trawler, the Diasan Shinsho-maru, capsized off Chiba`as its three-man crew was trying to haul in a net containing dozens of huge Nomura's jellyfish."

      The Slashdot submitter states: "... three-man crew dragged their net through a swarm of giant jellyfish ... and tried to haul up a net that was too heavy."

      There's some difference between "haul in" and "haul up", but in both cases the ship's crew is hauling. Sounds to m

    • With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
      He pulls the spitting high tension wires down

      Helpless people on a subway train
      Scream bug-eyed as he looks in on them

      He picks up a bus and he throws it back down
      As he wades through the buildings toward the center of town

      Oh no, they say hes got to go
      Go go Godzilla, yeah
      Oh no, there goes Tokyo
      Go go Godzilla, yeah

      Rinji news o moshiagemasu!
      Rinji news o moshiagemasu!
      Godzilla ga ginza hoomen e mukatte imasu!
      Daishkyu hinan shite kudasai!
      Daishkyu hinan shite kudasai!

      Oh no, they say hes got to go
      Go go Godzilla, yeah
      Oh no, there goes Tokyo
      Go go Godzilla, yeah

      History shows again and again
      How nature points up the folly of men
      Godzilla!

    • by spongman (182339) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @02:55PM (#30024016)

      in other news visitors from the middle east were tragically killed when the twin towers of the world trade center blocked the path of the jet they were traveling on. the pentagon building and a field in Pennsylvania were responsible for similar incidents.

    • by sstern (56589) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @04:44PM (#30024918) Homepage Journal

      Only an Iron Chef can save us. Send for Morimoto.

    • No, it's only human error when several truck loads of small sardines capsize your ship. In fact, when it comes to the hierarchy of Japanese fishermen, the fishermen that get capsized by sardines tend not to want to talk about it.
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Sunday November 08, 2009 @12:17PM (#30022474)

    The worst part of this "invasion" is that the species isn't really tasty at all. Not to mention that every part of this particular jellyfish contains toxins. Every touching the top of the jellyfish will result in temporary numbness.

    If they are proliferating because of a lack of predators, we should probably go ahead and kill as many of these as we can to maintain a good ecosystem balance.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is a big todo about nothing. Though jellyfish are a problem in and around Japan, it's not a problem in the seas of China because of the Chinese needle fish. It is confused for a snake (the Chinese needle snake) but is actually an eel. The easiest thing to do is to introduce the needle fish to the waters around Japan.

    • by mangu (126918)

      If they are proliferating because of a lack of predators, we should probably go ahead and kill as many of these as we can to maintain a good ecosystem balance.

      Wrong, we should stop killing predators. The seas have been overfished for too long, equilibrium is broken on so many levels that only true regulation and control of fishing will get any results.

      After all, fishing is *so* primitive. Civilized people *grow* their food, hunter/gatherer economics are for barbarians.

      • by Kneo24 (688412)
        Some people speculate, and I agree with this based on subjective experience, that farmed fish doesn't taste as good as fresh fish. You can grow all the fish you want. Sure, it tastes okay, but I prefer fresh. There's something about fresh fish that makes for a better meal in whatever you tend to use it in. It's considerably more noticeable in Sushi.
        • by Runaway1956 (1322357) * on Sunday November 08, 2009 @01:41PM (#30023356) Homepage Journal

          It's the feed. Ever eaten rabbit? A wild rabbit has a taste that is very distinctive. Farm raised rabbit has a rather soapy taste, so I won't eat it. The only difference is, wild rabbit eat what wild rabbits are SUPPOSED to eat - green vegetation. Farm raised rabbits eat prepared feed, which includes anti-biotics, possibly hormonal growth accelerators like they use for cattle - whatever the eggheads believe will grow the most meat for the least money. Farm fisheries are the same. It's near impossible to duplicate their natural diet, and if you could duplicate it, they would be far more expensive than wild fish.

          Diet has everything to do with the flavor of the meat.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            So I wonder... would a farm rabbit raised on feed taste better if its diet were changed to something more natural say... a month or so... before it was killed? Or is this something that happens over the entire course of its life?
            • by value_added (719364) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @03:20PM (#30024190)

              So I wonder... would a farm rabbit raised on feed taste better if its diet were changed to something more natural say... a month or so... before it was killed?

              Sure, but I don't know about a month.

              Don't enjoy rabbit, so I'll pass on commenting. Chicken, on the other hand, if you feed one a steady diet of corn, you get golden-coloured and really tasty meat. Cows that are fed grass (as opposed to grain), give milk that tastes far better than what you'll find in the American supermarket aisles. The cheese made from that milk doubly so. The meat obviously is better too and priced accordingly.

              It's a simple concept, really. Garbage in, garbage out.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Runaway1956 (1322357) *

              Pigs have often been allowed to forage for mast, then penned up and fed corn and maybe some sweet feed for some weeks before slaughter. Remember that a hog is an omnivore, so free ranging hogs eat some really NASTY stuff!
              Even today, farmers who slaughter their own hogs for private consumption will replace the commercially prepared feeds with corn.
              Would it work for rabbits? Probably.

              • by houghi (78078)

                Probably? Weeks? Stuff you (or animals) eat will get into your body within hours. Let a goose eat garlic a few hours before it is slaughtered and you have a nice taste of garlic in the meat.
                It is a very simple thing. Stuff that gets into the animals stomach will get into the blood. The blood will put stuff in the muscles. Muscle is meat.

                Next to the taste of food there also is the tenderness of the meat. Look at an athlete. He will have a lot of muscle. Look ate the average geek and he won't, even though the

          • wild rabbit eat what wild rabbits are SUPPOSED to eat

            Their own poop?

          • by Acer500 (846698)

            Farm fisheries are the same. It's near impossible to duplicate their natural diet, and if you could duplicate it, they would be far more expensive than wild fish.

            That's the point right there. The seas these days, though somewhat regulated, are still in the "tragedy of the commons" phase (heck, it's cited on Wikipedia as one of the current modern examples: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons [wikipedia.org] ).

            The current economic idea, (if I understood something of the pop-economics books I've read), is to internalize those costs (externalities). How, I don't have an idea :P - maybe by setting some kind of global tax on fishing (not that I'm usually in favor of tax

          • by willy_me (212994)

            Diet has everything to do with the flavor of the meat.

            Not just diet - also exercise. Unused muscle tends to not taste very good. If it were just diet, farmers would simply change the diet of the animal for the last couple of weeks to change the taste.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Runaway1956 (1322357) *

              "If it were just diet, farmers would simply change the diet of the animal for the last couple of weeks to change the taste."

              Whoosh?

              If it were just diet, farmers would simply change the diet of the animal for the last couple of weeks to change the taste.

              Canada

              The majority of beef cattle in Ontario are finished on a corn (maize)-based diet, whereas Western Canadian beef is finished on a barley-based diet. This rule is not absolute, however, as producers in both regions will alter the mix of feed grains accord

        • by spitzak (4019) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @01:42PM (#30023366) Homepage

          Um, "fresh" for fish means "not-frozen", and has nothing to do with whether it is farmed or not. I think the term you are looking for is "wild" or perhaps "not-farmed".

        • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@D ... com minus painte> on Sunday November 08, 2009 @06:57PM (#30026070) Journal

          The problem with farmed fish is that most of the meat is contaminated with parasites [wikipedia.org], such as sea lice [wikipedia.org].

          Talk to anyone who works in a cannery that works with farmed fish - they'll tell you about having to pick the parasites off the flesh all day.

          If these were land animals instead of fish, they would be classified as unfit for human consumption.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            The problem with farmed fish is that most of the meat is contaminated with parasites [wikipedia.org], such as sea lice [wikipedia.org].

            The wikipedia article you link to does not say that most of the meat is contaminated. If you're going to make outrageous statements like this, please pick sources that actually back your claim.

      • by T Murphy (1054674)
        He's talking short-term, you are talking long-term. Both solutions should be pursued on an appropriate time-scale.
      • by drsquare (530038)

        After all, fishing is *so* primitive. Civilized people *grow* their food, hunter/gatherer economics are for barbarians.

        Farmed fish are inferior to wild fish, and need to be fed from wild fish anyway. Civilised people eat whatever's nicest and most convenient.

      • by Brigadier (12956) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @03:44PM (#30024346)

        I always thought it interesting that people think equilibrium is a ecosystem free of humans. Aren't humans a part of the ecosystem. True equilibrium is our food source dying, followed by world starvation. The environmental push has nothing to do with the environment but is in fact human preservation. Let's call it exactly what it is.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by syousef (465911)

          I always thought it interesting that people think equilibrium is a ecosystem free of humans. Aren't humans a part of the ecosystem.

          Perhaps when we were dumb monkeys and there were something like 40,000 - 200,000 of us you could make this argument. However we grew brains and one result is that there are over 6 billion of us and growing. Not sustainable.

          • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

            Of course it is, this is a simple "predator-prey model" scenario. As our population grows, we find more ways to get food to eat. If it grows too much then we won't have any more food and the population will shrink. It is no longer practical for the human population to sustain itself by hunting and foraging, but fortunetly (with our oh so evil brains) we have found new sources of food (farming). If we ever reach the limits of what farming can produce, then we will simply find a new source of food, or die

        • by Jeremi (14640)

          True equilibrium is our food source dying, followed by world starvation.

          (Insert Inigo Montoya quote about word definitions here)

          True equilibrium would be when the rate at which people consume natural resources matches the rate at which those resources respawn.

    • Not just ecosystem balance, those things creep me the fuck out.

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      More activity to hunt this things probably will also hurt even more their predators or whatever contributed to regulate their numbers. The best way to get to balance is to try to repair what we did to unbalance things, like stop/minimize hunting sea turtles or that species of fishes that controlled their numbers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by squidfood (149212)

        ...stop/minimize hunting sea turtles or that species of fishes that controlled their numbers.

        Not everything is subject to predator control. Jellies may be more limited (historically) by competition for food with small fishes. It's possible a combination of changing climate conditions favoring jellies over small fishes, and removal of competitors for zooplankton leads to these events rather than removing predators.

        • It's not hard to understand how this happens when many of those predators of zooplankton (e.g. small fish) are overfished to supply fish farms with cheap food (e.g. salmon, tuna). Aquaculture is often portrayed as the way of the future, what they don't tell you is that much of it is only enabled by fishing. And such practice is ridiculously inefficient, like feeding cows to lions so that we may eat the lions.

    • It's not a lack of predators. The problem with this particular jellyfish stems from increased global temperature and pollution from China (near Hong Kong).

      Thinking about it, the Chinese and Japanese will eat rhino penis because they think it's an aphrodisiac. Someone should tell them that eating giant jellyfish will give them a bigger penis.

      Problem solved.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Culture20 (968837)
      Well duh. Fish Jelly is the worst idea since slug paste.
    • by grumling (94709)

      Sounds like it could be the next big recreational drug.

      One man's toxin is another man's lost weekend.

    • by Stormie (708)

      Not to mention that every part of this particular jellyfish contains toxins. Every touching the top of the jellyfish will result in temporary numbness.

      So, it's no good for food, but it sounds like it could be great for getting high!

    • by hey! (33014)

      Let's see. Seafood that's not tasty and contains toxins. And you think that's going to keep Japanese foodies from eating it?

      I've eaten (non-toxic) jellyfish. It's about as interesting as chewing on one of those rawhide bones they give to dogs. You wouldn't think there'd be any point to collecting, drying, shipping and lavishing culinary talent on such a thing. But of course, that's exactly what makes it a delicacy.

  • by Oyjord (810904) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @12:32PM (#30022632)

    "Relatively little is known about Nomura's jellyfish, such as why some years see thousands of the creatures floating across the Sea of Japan on the Tsushima Current, but last year there were virtually no sightings."

    Godzilla had the munchies?

  • Soon: (Score:5, Funny)

    by DemonBeaver (1485573) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @12:33PM (#30022640)
    Capsizing Jellyfish: The Hentai
  • Chiba != China (Score:5, Informative)

    by gzipped_tar (1151931) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @12:41PM (#30022746) Journal
    The boat turned turtle off the coast of Chiba, which is a Japanese port, rather than the coast of China. TFA did mention that the jellyfish's breeding location is off the Chinese coast though.
  • by jms (11418) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @12:45PM (#30022802)

    "Relatively little is known about Nomura's jellyfish, such as why some years see thousands of the creatures floating across the Sea of Japan on the Tsushima Current, but last year there were virtually no sightings."

    Hey there! FlashMob4Jellyfish is using Twitter

    WhN? 2day. Where? Sea of Japan. What? Jam as many of us into
    a fishing net and capsize the boat.
    4:48 PM Oct 9th from ocean

  • by Das Auge (597142) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @12:54PM (#30022892)
    I saw a Nation Geographic (I think) special on this.

    These jellyfish spawn off the cost of China, near Hong Kong. The increasing water temperature (since the end of the last ice age) coupled with the pollution that China dumps into the sea, has caused an explosion of the aforementioned animals. The jellyfish then float eastward, right into the Japanese fishing waters.

    The Japanese have no real solution to this problem. Thy only thing they can do it try to kill as many jellyfish as they can (using bladed or hooked poles).

    Here's when I venture into probably troll country: I'm okay with the affect the jellyfish are having. The way that the Japanese over-fish the oceans (not to mention killing whales), I'm okay with anything that slows them down. Now only if something could slow down the over-fishing done by the rest of the world. This includes the US, of which I'm a citizen.

    I'm not a Green Peace lovin' (I hate 'em), tree hugging, nut job; but we really need to have some sort of international regulation (with punishments in the form of sanctions) on the fishing and care of the oceans. From over-fishing to habitat destruction (often a side affect of fishing) to pollution, we're well on our way to killing the oceans as we know them. Which will lead to the killing of our civilization as we know it. Not the end of it, mind you. Just the end of it as we know it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by maxume (22995)

      The best thing about good fisheries management is the increased harvests...

      • by Das Auge (597142) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @01:33PM (#30023268)
        There's no need for fisheries. It's been shown that simply cordoning off sections of the ocean where no one is allowed to fish at all, causes an explosion of sea life in the surrounding areas.

        Well...okay, I take back part of what I said. We do need fisheries for shell fish. It's fishing for shell fish (especially shrimp) that causes so much of the habitat destruction. The trawlers rake scoops across the ocean beds to catch shrimp. Which annihilate the corral reefs.
        • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

          It's been shown that simply cordoning off sections of the ocean where no one is allowed...

          You realize you just described a fishery, right? A fishery is not some giant tank where fish are grown (ok, it CAN be, but that is by far the exception). The vast majority of fisheries aren't even fish farms, they are wild fisheries.

          Fisheries are areas where fishing is actively regulated for the express purpose of producing a larger fish harvest. We have dozens, if not close to a hundred, fisheries here in Alaska, and as far as I know not a single fish farming operation, those all operate on the west-coa

        • by turing_m (1030530)

          There's no need for fisheries. It's been shown that simply cordoning off sections of the ocean where no one is allowed to fish at all, causes an explosion of sea life in the surrounding areas.

          That it does, but then no one can eat the fish. Surely it is better to have a sustainable fishery, which can be done if the fishery is made into a property right, usually with government oversight and regulation. It's pretty much the same solution that has fixed the original commons problem on land - get rid of the co

    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      >>These jellyfish spawn off the cost of China, near Hong Kong. The increasing water temperature (since the end of the last ice age) coupled with the pollution that China dumps into the sea, has caused an explosion of the aforementioned animals. The jellyfish then float eastward, right into the Japanese fishing waters.

      No, no, no! You forgot to blame it on global warming!

      Remember, anytime anything weird happens, you must blame it on global warming!

      Do this again and we'll revoke your card.

      -Greenpeace

  • That's got to be one of a mariner's worst nightmares...

    Hard to top that... capsizing amidst a swarm of hungry sharks, maybe.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is there any doubt that these giant, radioactive jellyfish are headed for Japan? Fortunately, they probably can't move very well on land. so Tokyo Tower is safe.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      You've obviously never seen giant, radioactive jellyfish before. They easily transition from water to air and hover over the city, soaking up the juice from the power lines (they use it to help them hover) before floating down to Tokyo Tower for some tenticle-based destruction. Oh and pr0n. Wherever there are tenticles in Japan, there's tenticle pr0n.

  • Great...can't wait for the Syfy movie. *rolling eyes*
  • by flyneye (84093) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @01:16PM (#30023094) Homepage

    'When conditions are right, jelly swarms can form quickly. They appear to do this for sexual reproduction.'"

                Perhaps genetic experimentation to produce K.Y. Jellyfish would aid this.

  • When conditions are right, jelly swarms can form quickly. They appear to do this for sexual reproduction.

    As opposed to what? Cloning?

  • by physburn (1095481) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @03:33PM (#30024272) Homepage Journal
    Japanese nuclear radiation has stirred up Godzilla into an attack on one of the Cephalopod kings of the Major Arcana. The world is doomed. The only question is how we will die. Screaming Mad from Cthulhu, or Alien inversion from Waking Kraken.

    ---

    Cryptozoology [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

  • by Daetrin (576516) on Sunday November 08, 2009 @05:44PM (#30025406)
    I am totally unsurprised by this development after reading about the 5 species that seem to be trying to take over the earth [cracked.com] article at Cracked.com.
  • They appear to do this for sexual reproduction.

    I don't know you, but I'd be pretty pissed if someone dragged me in a net while looking around to hook up. Not that jellyfish get blue balls or anything like that, but still sucks.

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday November 09, 2009 @12:02AM (#30028580) Homepage

    In the Chesapeake Bay, jellyfish populations are proportional to pollution. Pollution kills the turtles that eat the jellyfish eggs and feeds the jellies. They don't mind the cruddy water.

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