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New project investigates using jellyfish as fish feed

A new project titled the GoJelly project, coordinated by the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Germany, is investigating potential uses for jellyfish as a source to produce fish feeds, microplastic filters, or fertilizers. The four-year project received EUR 6 million in funding from the European Union, and is being carried out by a consortium of 15 scientific institutions from eight countries. \"Fish in fish farms are currently fed with captured wild fish which does not reduce the problem of overfishing, but increases it. Jellyfish as feed would be much more sustainable and would protect the natural fish stocks.\"

November 9, 2017

A new project titled the GoJelly project, coordinated by the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Germany, is investigating the potential uses for jellyfish as a source to produce fish feeds, microplastic filters, or fertilizers.

The four-year project received EUR 6 million in funding from the European Union, and is being carried out by a consortium of 15 scientific institutions from eight countries coordinated by the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. 

“In Europe alone, the imported American comb jelly has a biomass of one billion tons,\" said Dr. Jamileh Javidpour of GEOMAR, initiator and coordinator of GoJelly. \"While we tend to ignore the jellyfish, there must be other solutions.” 

First, there is still basic work to do for all partners. The life cycle of many jellyfish species is only scarcely explored. Therefore, it is almost impossible to predict when and why a large jellyfish bloom will occur. “This is what we want to change so that large jellyfish swarms can be caught before they reach the coasts,” says Dr. Javidpour.

At the same time, the project partners will already be working on the second step and try to answer the question: What to do with the caught biomass? One idea is, for example, to use it against another, man-made threat. “Studies have shown that mucus of jellyfish can bind microplastic. Therefore, we want to test whether biofilters can be produced from jellyfish. These biofilters could then be used in sewage treatment plants or in factories where microplastic is produced,” explain the researchers.

Jellyfish can also be used as fertilizers for agriculture or aquaculture feeds. “Fish in fish farms are currently fed with captured wild fish which does not reduce the problem of overfishing, but increases it. Jellyfish as feed would be much more sustainable and would protect the natural fish stocks,” says the GoJelly team.

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