Jellyfish Research in Alaska

Research on Jellyfish in Alaska water.

Jellyfish researchers in Alaska bringing up a group of Northern sea nettle, Chrysaora melanaster.

Jellyfish researchers in Alaska bringing up a group of Northern sea nettle, Chrysaora melanaster.

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Lion's mane jellyfish - (Cyanea capillata)

Increases in populations of jellyfish in areas around the world have captured the attention of scientists in recent decades. Jellyfish populations in Alaskan waters have fluctuated dramatically in response to changes in climate and prey. Because jellyfish potentially both compete with and prey on fish, changes in their numbers may alter ecosystems and affect commercially important fish species.

To sustainably manage our valuable commercial fisheries, we need to understand the role of jellyfish in Alaskan ecosystems. Our scientists are conducting research on the scale and impact of jellyfish predation, competition, and ecosystem-structuring.

We have been monitoring jellyfish populations during our ecosystem surveys, which started in the eastern Bering Sea in 2004; the Chukchi Sea in 2007; and the Gulf of Alaska since 2012. Along with catch per unit effort from our surveys, we collect individual specimens to conduct diet and digestion information for the most dominant species.

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