Cannonball jellyfish, Stomolophus meleagris. (Photo:DockWat/Dauphin Island Sea Lab)
Jellyfish could sustain a profitable business
Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 01:40 (GMT + 9)
A group of seafood producers from Sonora and researchers of the Biological Research Centre of the Northeast (Cibnor) argues that the cannonball jellyfish (Stomolophus meleagris) from the Mexican Pacific coast has great potential for commercial exploitation.
While this resource is considered a threat to the biodiversity of marine ecosystems in the Gulf of California, it could become a sustainable business for the producers in the area.
For a long time, this jellyfish has been between the bay Kino and the estuary Agiabampo, in the state of Sonora, where its reproduction increases due to the rise in temperatures.
It is currently listed as an invasive species that can affect the ecosystem food chain, scientists of Cibnor pointed out.
But according to Juana Lopez Martinez, the expert project leader, it is possible to resist the negative effects, since it has the advantage of being edible. And it can be an alternative for fishermen due to its high value in Asia, since there it is considered a delicacy.
In addition, this jellyfish has medical properties: it is used to treat arthritis and hypertension cases.
Due to the fact that the volume of the resources which are captured in the Gulf of California -- shrimp, sardine and squid -- has not grown substantially, Lopez Martinez believes it is important to promote the exploitation of other species, and the cannonball jellyfish can be one of them.
This resource also serves as food for commercial species like the turtle and the sunfish, and it is a source of nutrients in the sea bottom, especially in biodiversity-rich areas, such as the coastal lagoons, Agencia ID reported.
In Mexico it is captured in the states of Tabasco, Oaxaca, Sinaloa and Sonora. It is only commercially fished in Sonora, and in the rest of the states in the form of development fishing (for research, exploration, experimentation, conservation and marine resource assessment).
By Analia Murias