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KARACHI: The country’s shores have become a bed for dead jellyfish because of a possible climate change and organic pollution in the seas but the experts have not yet understood the phenomenon fully, as nations marked the World Jellyfish Day on November 3.

The blooms of jellyfish - an invertebrate marine creature - is generally attributed to climate change, the WWF-Pakistan said on Wednesday that other possible contributing perilous factors are over-fishing, eutrophication (organic pollution), and habitat modification.

The dead jellyfish on shores is usual, according to the WWF-Pakistan, because of its frequent blooms.

“In the last week of October 2021, the beach at Gwadar (West Bay) was littered with dead mushroom jellyfish (Rhopilema hispidium), whereas in early October 2021, high water at Clifton was covered with dead hydromedusae (Aequorea pensilis”, WWF-Pakistan expressed concern.

“The jellyfish blooms are a function of natural cycles or the result of human impacts on the environment,” Muhammad Moazzam Khan, Technical Advisor (Marine Fisheries), WWF-Pakistan said.

The reasons for the sudden increase in the population of some jellyfish and forming of large blooms “are not fully understood”, he said.

Jellyfish blooms, he said, feed on plankton, crustaceans, small fish and fish eggs, therefore, they deplete the food resources of fish and even larger mammals like whales.

“While celebrating this World Jellyfish Day, we must stress on the need to undertake further research on jelly bloom dynamics and their role in coastal and offshore ecosystems”, he added.

Scientists all around the world are bewildered because of the frequent occurrence of jellyfish blooms.

WWF-Pakistan previously reported a major mushroom jellyfish (Rhopilema hispidium) bloom from the offshore waters from Karachi to Ghora Bari, along the Sindh coast.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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