Salted and dried jellyfish have long been considered a delicacy by the Chinese. To fish ecologists, jellyfish may indicate trouble. In some waters where stocks of large fish collapse, jellyfish may proliferate, impeding recovery of stocks by feeding on larvae and eggs and competing for food such as zooplankton.
Zhapo, China has a huge Jellyfish fishery—the entire town slings laundry tubs full of the gelatinous, mucousy jellyfish. They fish on cloudy days when they can see the masses of jelly from their boats. A cultural difference; the Chinese like to eat jellyfish because of the texture. To me, a jellyfish fishery is “fishing down the food chain.” With fewer and fewer predators (sharks are down 80 percent) this kind of creature, lower on the food chain, tends to thrive and will be used more and more as a food source as the other species decline.Buy This Image