Jellyfish blooms are regarded by some as an ecological menace, but they may sound the dinner gong for the commercially valuable Norway lobster. Recently, a team of scientists from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh have photographed the tasty crustacean in the waters off western Norway chowing down on jellyfish carcasses, suggesting that they could form a major part of its diet.
The 25-cm (10-in) Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus), also known as the Dublin Bay prawn, langoustine, or scampi, is the most important commercial crustacean in Europe, responsible for revenues of £78 million (US$105 million) to Scotland alone. They’re remarkably abundant in the north-eastern Atlantic and parts of the Mediterranean, and they’re cheaper than the larger common lobster. Each year 60,000 tonnes of them are hauled in with half taken in British waters.