Jellyfish Eat Up Fishing Business Along the Coasts of Alabama and Mississippi

Natural disasters have been popping up around the world recently, the latest of which being slightly unusual. Affecting fishermen and shrimpers along the coasts of Alabama and Mississippi, jellyfish have clogged the northern waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

One year ago, the same fishermen were left to deal with the consequences of the BP oil spill, the largest offshore oil spill in the history of the U.S. Though different, the jellyfish have made fishing and shrimping incredibly difficult in the area, and business has been at a standstill for nearly three weeks now.

Fisherman and bait shop owner Harry Jemison explained: “I catch bait, so they’re stopping me right now. It’s just like a thunderstorm or a hurricane.” He added, “It’s all part of living in God’s world down here.”

According to William ‘Monty’ Graham of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Marine Science Department, the jellyfish bloom depends mostly on water temperatures and storm activity. He explained that it is hard to predict just how long the swarm will stay. He added that two years ago, a similar situation occurred, and the blanket of jellyfish “kind of ate up the entire white shrimp fishing season.”

“The problem we had two years ago was that the blooms lasted until the end of December. They usually peak around September and are gone by November, but if the weather stays quiet and the water stays warm, I suspect they’ll stick around.”