Perlesnormanets kills millions of fish: and gives 35 million for the effort

Perlesnormanets kills millions of fish: and gives 35 million for the effort

– The main goal of the research is to investigate things we do not know, but the situation of Berlisnormanite is unique, says marine researcher Tina Oldham at the Norwegian Institute for Marine Research.

– It's unusual how little we know about something that had such a big impact.

When the autumn months of last year turned into winter, large quantities of Norman pearl washed up on the Norwegian coast. The consequences of the unwanted guest were enormous.

One attack after another along the coast

The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research showed in its Norwegian Fish Farming Risks Report 2023 that several million farmed fish may have died as a result of jellyfish infestation.

Perlesnormanet is a colonial jellyfish consisting of several smaller individuals. Some individuals have nettle cells, and these stinging fish come very close.

In the face of waves, turbulence and physical barriers, jellyfish colonies disintegrate – and these tiny pieces can penetrate breeding cages.

This happened repeatedly on farms along the coast. The fishermen were helpless, the Marine Research Institute (HI) wrote.

It is believed that this creature could pose a threat to farmed salmon: – It has been sighted as far as the town of Troms

“We lack the knowledge and infrastructure to confront such harmful plankton,” says Oldham, who will now lead a brand-new research project that will prepare us against the dangers that come with drifting with ocean currents.

The JellySafe project recently received approximately NOK 35 million to support research funding for the Norwegian fisheries and aquaculture (FHF) industry.

This is an example of damage observed a week after the BerlisNormanite attack. The fish has bleeding, visible wounds and broken fins. The fish were disposed of for animal welfare reasons.
picture: Margaret Mogster/Naval Research Institute

65 million salmon died on farms last year: approaching unacceptable levels

Gathers advanced experiences

When research funding for the Norwegian fisheries and aquaculture industry allocated NOK 35 million for this work, a national team with cutting-edge expertise was assembled: Norwegian Marine Research Institute, SINTEF Ocean, Akvaplan Niva, NIVA, Patogen, NCE Aquaculture, University of Bergen and Akerpla. The Marine Research Institute is in charge of management, and the project has broad scope for success.

They will investigate the biology of the pearl jellyfish and how its venom works, but they will also work on how to create monitoring and warning systems for jellyfish intrusion, as well as equipment and measures that can reduce damage to fish if jellyfish are present. In the aquatic environment.

Jellysafe is creating a dialogue group with entrepreneurs who have gained valuable experience in the jellyfish field in 2023, including Nordlaks, Cermaq, Bremnes Seashore, SalMar, Grig, Lerøy and others.

– Pearly jellyfish have been a growing problem in recent years, and for our part, jellyfish have caused deaths in some locations. Understanding jellyfish biology is crucial to being able to implement preventative measures, says Remi Matthiessen, of Nordlaks til Ilaks.

He believes it is very positive that the FHF is prioritizing funding research to solve challenges.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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