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Ecological role of jellyfish

Ecological role of jellyfish

Jellyfish are planktonic animals, mainly marine, belonging to the phylum Cnidarians.
These living beings are among the first multicellular organisms that populated our planet, playing, like all other species, a very important ecological role.
Jellyfish play, among other roles, that of “filter” of the ocean and participate in marine biodiversity, helping to balance food chains.
Jellyfish feed on algae, phytoplankton, copepods and shrimps, then producing manure that falls to the bottom, thus contributing to the metabolization of the organic matter of the seas.
In fact, jellyfish are very voracious, transforming all the nutritive elements into a gelatinous mass that many animals do not appreciate, but which become nourishment for other organisms.
We also recall that some types of jellyfish are a very popular food in Asia and, therefore, their destruction harms a part of the food of some peoples.
According to recent research published by Mario Lebrato of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Science (Germany) and Daniel O. B. Jones of the National Oceanography Center (United Kingdom), jellyfish also play an important role in the carbon cycle, in particular in relation to the problem of global warming. According to this study, jellyfish sequester large quantities of carbon, fueling the biological pump that removes it from the atmosphere.
Jellyfish, among the various ecological tasks, also favor the oxygenation of the waters.
In recent times, due to the increase in sea temperature, we often notice more jellyfish which drives some bathers to make real mass executions.

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During the summer season, unfortunately, there are numerous bathers who, perhaps unaware of the damage they cause, do their utmost to remove large quantities of jellyfish from the water and deposit them on the sand.
Therefore, when you meet a jellyfish or come into contact, do not pick it up to take it out of the water and leave it dry on the shoreline, this is not only an unjustified and harmful action but it is also punishable by law pursuant to article 544 ter. of the Penal Code on the abuse of animals.
Also remind other bathers you see doing these things.
This is an action that denotes, contrary to popular belief, the poor ecological culture of many people; among other things, if you come across a jellyfish while swimming, you can observe it safely with a mask and snorkel, otherwise, if you are intimidated, try not to get too close and move around taking into account the presence of currents that could push the jellyfish towards of you, taking care to warn the other swimmers.
We have a long way to go to live together in peace on this planet; we often assume an attitude that responds only to our comfort (that of bathers who do not understand that we are not the only masters of the world).
Ecology is not just a scientific study but the discovery that in the entire cycle of life there is an ethics that no one can escape.

Guido Bissanti

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