A large group of dead northern sea nettles (Chrysaora melanaster) found near the shore in Kasitsna Bay.
Observation by Gart Curtis, shared by Mike Brubaker:
Took this in front of Dunnigan’s (Kasitsna Bay) yesterday. Also concrened about what so many jellyfish might do to the ecosystem and the marine larva in the area.
George Matsumoto, Senior Education and Research Specialist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, writes:
They are in close to shore and not really swimming - [it appears that the] bloom has happened and jellies are now dying off…and northern sea nettles is correct.
When asked whether he has observed northern sea nettle die offs, George replied:
Nope.. at least not in Monterrey Bay. Haven't had a big bloom yet although they are out there in small numbers.
Comments from LEO Editors:
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), close monitoring of jellyfish in Alaska began about a decade ago when it was discovered that they potentially threaten commercial fisheries by quickly increasing their populations and feeding on and competing with fish. However, in the 2018 Gulf of Alaska Ecosystem Assessment, researchers caught fewer of the large bodied jellyfish such as Chrysaora melanaster, and instead caught more smaller bodied jellyfish such as Ctenophora, Aequorea, and Hydrozoans. Shifts in abundance from large bodied jellyfish to small bodied jellyfish may be the result of changes to the ecosystem that lead to shifts in species distribution, or changes that favor certain species during early development. Sarah Ingram and Erica Lujan