Attack of the giant jellyfish!

echizen kurage

How do you tackle an invasion of giant jellyfish?

Try making sushi
Tokyo—THEY are called echizen kurage and they sound like monsters from the trashier reaches of Japanese science fiction. They are 6ft wide and weigh 450lb (200kg), with countless poisonous tentacles, they have drifted across the void to terrorise the people of Japan. Vast armadas of the slimy horrors have cut off the country’s food supply. As soon as one is killed more appear to take its place.
Finally, the quarrelsome governments of the region are banding together to unite against the enemy….The problem has become so serious that fishery officials from Japan, China and South Korea are to meet this month for a “jellyfish summit”…..rather than just complaining about jellyfish they are eating them. Jellyfish are an unusual ingredient of Japanese cuisine but are much more prized in China. Coastal communities are doing their best to promote jellyfish as a novelty food, sold dried and salted. Students in Obama have managed to turn them into tofu…more…

I was watching NHK’s Morning News and they said damn things’ combined weight in a net full of these monsters was more than their boat. Each jellyfish is the size of a washing machine. Last year fishermen tried to market them with not much success—-way too much supply compared to demand. Who wants to eat jellyfish more than once a week? And who else besides Japanese and Chinese eats jellyfish?

In the past, the monsters never showed up in consecutive years However, now this has been a yearly problem in the fall every year since 2002. ..The last time the jellyfish turned up along Japan’s coast for a second consecutive year was in the years 1995 and 1958. It looks like Japanese overfishing and global warming has made the Sea of Japan aka the East Sea* into the Sea of Jellyfish.

*That’s the Korean name and there’s a local pissing match over the naming rights.

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I'm a pale, alien, quadruped who has worked for 25+ years at "Maybe-the-Largest Inc." in Tokyo.

7 thoughts on “Attack of the giant jellyfish!”

  1. Pet Jellyfish? Sure. Here you go….

    Jellyfish Cocktail: Japanese Pet, Nov 3, 2005
    For all of you who sit at your desks thinking, ‘You know what this desk needs? Some goddamn jellyfish, that’s what,’ comes Japanese company Banpresto with some goddamn jellyfish thing. Banpresto’s “Sea Cocktail” (great name for a product which you should under no circumstances drink) takes the form of a 11.7-inch tall monolith-like fish tank, illuminated by a series of colour-changing LED lights. more

  2. JEDI alliance: Jellyfish overlords won't rule Earth after all
    The Register | 2nd February 2012
    The worldwide jellyfish-threat trouser state was officially downgraded …Despite the (cough) well-publicised menace posed by such things as the fridge-sized, quarter-ton monster jellies which routinely choke the Sea of Japan… it seems that in fact there’s not great need to panic.
    International boffins, allied under the banner Jellyfish Database Initiative (JEDI) have collated all available data on jelly populations worldwide. They say that in fact, regardless of the various wobbling menaces highlighted in the more irresponsible sections of the media, there’s nothing to show an overall increase in jellyfish population.
    “Clearly, there are areas where jellyfish have increased, the situation with the Giant Jellyfish in Japan is a classic example,” says Dr Cathy Lucas of Blighty's National Oceanography Centre, one of the JEDI alliance. “But there are also areas where jellyfish have decreased, or fluctuate over the decadal periods.”

  3. With the massive increases of jellyfish in recent years across the world—the plague of jellies—Megamouth’s numbers may greatly increase since they are Mr. Mouth’s main meal.

    Megamouth shark caught off the coast of Japan | 1014 May 8
    An extremely rare female deep-water megamouth shark has been caught off the coast of Shizuoka in Japan, in what is believed to be only the 58th known sighting of the animal on record.
    The distinctive looking creature was hauled from a depth of 2,600 ft and weighed almost 1,500lbs.
    The name ‘megamouth’ is derived from the disproportionate size of its huge head and the enormous capacity of its mouth, which is kept open as it swims in order to filter water for plankton and jelly fish.
    Only 13 sightings of the sharks off the coast of Japan have been recorded. Over 1,500 people gathered to watch the 13ft long animal’s necropsy, which scientists are hoping will help them learn more about the unusual species.

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