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Australian Spotted Jellyfish

Phyllorhiza punctata

In the summer of 2000, the Gulf Coast experienced a population explosion of the Australian Spotted Jellyfish.  The jellyfish may have been present in the Gulf of Mexico before this, but it went largely unnoticed.  Shipping traffic introduced the jellyfish into the Caribbean between 1950 and 1970, and it is likely that shipping traffic also was the cause of introduction into the Gulf of Mexico.  The Australian spotted jellyfish can have a direct impact on commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico by consuming fish larvae, out-competing fish larvae for food, and clogging fishing nets.  It is thought that the jellyfish could have a significant impact on fisheries such as shrimp, menhaden, crabs, anchovies, and red snapper.  Although the jellyfish is present in the Gulf of Mexico every summer, there has not been a major  population explosion since 2000.

Common Name(s):  Australian Spotted Jellyfish

Date of Introduction to the United States:  1950s-1970s in the Caribbean; Gulf Coast, 2000

Place of Origin:   South Pacific Ocean

Method of Introduction:  Accidental through shipping traffic and ballast water

Problem(s):  Impacts to Gulf of Mexico fisheries

Current Range:  Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, including the coastal waters of Louisiana and the Barataria-Terrebonne system.

Control Methods:  Mechanical

Source:  Center for Bioenvironmental Research at Tulane

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