Stung!: On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean

Stung!: On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean

Hardback

By (author) Lisa-ann Gershwin, Foreword by Sylvia A. Earle

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  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Format: Hardback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 36mm | 794g
  • Publication date: 10 May 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Chicago, IL
  • ISBN 10: 022602010X
  • ISBN 13: 9780226020105
  • Illustrations note: 16 colour plates, 1 halftone, 4 tables
  • Sales rank: 56,079

Product description

Our oceans are becoming increasingly inhospitable to life - growing toxicity and rising temperatures coupled with overfishing have led many marine species to the brink of collapse. And yet there is one creature that is thriving in this seasick environment: the beautiful, dangerous, and now incredibly numerous jellyfish. As foremost jellyfish expert Lisa-ann Gershwin describes in "Stung!", the jellyfish population bloom is highly indicative of the tragic state of the world's ocean waters, while also revealing the incredible tenacity of these remarkable creatures. Recent documentaries about swarms of jellyfish invading Japanese fishing grounds and headlines about armadas of stinging jellyfish in the Chesapeake are only the beginning - jellyfish are truly taking over the oceans. Despite their often dazzling appearance, jellyfish are simple creatures with simple needs: namely, fewer predators and competitors, warmer waters to encourage rapid growth, and more places for their larvae to settle and grow. In general, oceans that are less favorable to fish are more favorable to jellyfish, and these are the very conditions that we are creating worldwide. Despite their role as harbingers of marine destruction, jellyfish are enthralling creatures in their own right, and in "Stung!", Gershwin tells stories of jellyfish while illuminating many facts about their behaviors and environmental adaptations. She takes readers back to the Proterozoic era, when jellyfish were the top predator in the marine ecosystem and she explores the role jellies have as middlemen of destruction, moving swiftly into vulnerable ecosystems. The story of the jellyfish, as Gershwin makes clear, is also the story of the world's oceans, and "Stung!" provides a unique and urgent look at their inseparable histories-and future.

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Author information

Lisa-ann Gershwin is director of the Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services. She was awarded a Fulbright in 1998 for her studies on jellyfish blooms and evolution, and since that time she has discovered over 150 new species.

Review quote

"Read this book! You know that the oceans are in trouble, but this is the most comprehensive and clear explanation of why. Stung! is more than just a book about jellyfish; it is undoubtedly one of the best books detailing the stresses on our ocean ecosystems. It is a much-needed and spectacular achievement." -Paul Dayton, Scripps Institution of Oceanography"