India’s first jellyfish lake discovered

SansadTV Bureau

Marine biologists have discovered a jellyfish lake in Gujarat, probably the first such in India.

“This is probably the first jellyfish lake to have been found in India. The concentration and density of jellyfish is very high here. You can even see them from outside during low tide and when the water is clear,” wildlife scientist B C Choudhury said.

Led by him, a team of researchers from the Wildlife Trust of India have recently stumbled on the jellyfish habitat during a routine field visit to a small town named Armabada in Gujarat.

A couple of WTI marine biologists in snorkelling kits and armed with an underwater camera found that the bottom of the lake, spread over 5-6 hectares, was carpeted with a type of jellyfish known as ‘upside down jellyfish’.

They are called so because they are found swimming upside down unlike others.

“They position themselves on their bottom side to receive maximum sunlight as they harbour photosynthetic algae called Zooxanthellae, which have a symbiotic relationship with jellyfish similar to corals,” explained marine biologist S. Goutham.

Another unique feature of the lake is that these jellyfish are present all around the year unlike other places where they are reported to be seasonal.

According to experts, the big bloom of jellyfish in the lake might be attributed to low predation.

Jellyfish are found in different parts of coastal India but are seen rarely in lakes.

The world renowned jellyfish lake is located on Eil Malk Island in Palau.