Jellyfish are an important component of marine ecosystems and provide ecosystem services that are often overlooked. What's more, the general public often perceives jellyfish as a nuisance because of their negative interactions with human activities along the coasts, such as tourism, fisheries and power plants. Although several stressors (overfishing, eutrophication, climate change, translocation and habitat modification) seem to promote the increase in the number and frequency of blooms, the mechanisms leading to jellyfish blooms formation and their impact on human activities are still not well defined. While there is a wealth of literature describing recurrent jellyfish blooms across the globe, including both new and introduced non-indigenous species, the data remain scattered.
Nevertheless, the combination of permanent observatories carrying data collection and an efficient collaborative network of researchers from different disciplines is capable of acting as a reliable tool for overcoming the current dispersion of knowledge, strengthening technological advances in observational systems and data collection, stimulating and attracting researchers into jellyfish research, and increasing literacy and awareness of the marine environment. The EuroMarine funded working group JELLY-NEXT is dedicated to stimulating fruitful collaboration between researchers and relevant Research Infrastructures (RIs) to perform advanced research and aid in the creation of innovative and open tools for researchers.
The funding from EuroMarine will support the constitution of a core group of experts in various fields of jellyfish research. Their participation in JELLY-NEXT will stimulate to establish:
- Connection with relevant Research Infrastructures and their services
- Creation of permanent network to stimulate collaboration and promote visibility of EuroMarine
Activities of JELLY-NEXT are oriented towards exchange of knowledge and good practices to review a current state of knowledge and envisioned strategy to exploit services and technological advances in relevant Research Infrastructures. The expected outcomes are:
- The publication of position/review papers to perform advanced research and creation of innovative and open tools for researchers
- An established link between JELLY-NEXT and RIs services
The JELLY-NEXT ambitions are to:
- Stimulate networking with suitable RIs and explore how jellyfish researchers can benefit from their services to design new tools for research as long-term standardised monitoring and data sharing
- Shape strategies for the future, synergistic actions at European scale and wider to faster progress in the field of jellyfish research
- Support research within the strong network of active researchers covering most vital disciplines in jellyfish research and public awareness