One of the reasons Jellies are invading the oceans is because they can survive environmental changes that have negatively affected other forms of sea life. Did you know jellies have survived for over 500 million years?!They were here even before dinosaurs.
The key to this survival is their ability to adapt and thrive to changes in the environment. Jellies appear to be better able to survive in polluted water than other forms of aquatic life. Runoff may be a cause for increases in jellies populations. Excess fertilizer from our yards runs into our waterways fueling algae blooms and the creation of low oxygen “dead zones” in the Bay and in the ocean. Jellies are able to survive and thrive in these degraded water conditions.
Historically, West coast sea nettles were common in California waters, but in recent years they have been seen in even greater numbers and can be seen from Mexico to British Columbia. Their populations are fed by exploding algae blooms, which are fueled by increased pollution and runoff from land. And because colonies of sea nettles consume countless fish larvae and other planktonic species, they play a critical role in marine food chains. Take a look at some of the Sea Nettles featured in Jellies Invasion: