A type of Sea turtle on the island of Naxos named Marios has been helping overcome a jellyfish problem Europe has been having.
Over 100 jellyfish in half an hour had been consumed, as seen in a video by the Naxos Wildlife Conservation Unit.
“The main predator of jellyfish is the sea turtle, and during our observations we tracked one individual loggerhead tortoise that ate over 100 jellyfish in 30 minutes.
This observation proves the central role of sea turtles in the balance of the marine ecosystem, and at the same time, they protect us from painful underwater encounters!”, — noted in the Naxos branch of the Ministry of Wildlife Protection.
Marios is one of Naxos’ resident sea turtles and the video starring her (filmed in September 2021) shows the sea turtle’s crucial role in ecosystem balance and its advantage in controlling overpopulation of this species.
The problem of purple jellyfish is not only in Greece.
Last year, the outbreak was also in Spain and France, and this year the problem has spread across almost the entire Mediterranean, from Portugal in the west to Israel in the east and south in most African countries, as shown on the map inaturalist.org below.
In a discussion with daily Kathimerini, Epaminondas Christou, director of research at the Institute of Oceanography at the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR), said that the purple jellyfish is an aquatic species that breeds in the open sea and drifts along the currents, reaching the shores and beaches.
“This is the second year that we have seen an outbreak of Pelagia noctiluca in Greek waters,” the director of research emphasized, adding that “the persistence of this phenomenon in Greek waters indicates that there may be a breeding site in the Aegean Sea.”