2000 Jellyfish Invasion
A non-indigenous jellyfish, Phyllorhiza punctata, invaded the northern Gulf of Mexico in May 2000.
- The sea jellies doubled in size in Mississippi waters due to an abundant food supply
- They were present in huge numbers in western Mississippi Sound.
A population explosion of the native moon jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, followed the P. punctata invasion.
Jelly Fish Invasion Concerns
- Jellyfish are filter feeders; feeding is continuous
- Consume zooplankton
- From Gulf of Mexico Estuarine Inventory (GMEI) studies, highest concentration of plankton found in late summer/early fall
- High zooplankton abundance and jellyfish congregation coincide