Surprise! If you think you’re saved from the wrath of the pests when you are swimming in the ocean, then you are wrong. Okay, not really. However, there also are pests in Poseidon’s lair. Unlike their land counterpart, underwater pests are only considered as pests when they grow in a large number – greatly affecting the lives of other organisms, therefore affecting the whole sea ecosystem.
While we cannot contact pest control Philippines when our seas become overpopulated with specific sea creatures such as these:
Northern Pacific Seastar
The Northern Pacific seastar is perhaps one of the most notorious marine pests which had invaded Australia. This dominant invertebrate predator negatively affected the marine ecosystem because of its overpopulation. Having a large number of this specific kind of seastar depleted the population of native shellfish – an important component of the marine food web. Not only did the Northern Pacific Seastar disrupt the marine food web, studies also said that this species has been directly implicated in the decline of the endangered Spotted Handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus). It is believed that the seastars preyed on handfish egg masses, and/or the ascidians where the Spotted Handfish spawn on.
This is the sea-dwelling relative of earthworms which is native to the Mediterranean Sea and the European Atlantic. Surprisingly, European fanworms have invaded much of southern coastal Australia – first spotted in 1965.
This worm can be as long as 50 centimeters and lives in a tube that attaches to rocks and boats. It can also reproduce quickly (having up to 50,000 eggs per individual) which can, in turn, can outgrow other local marine species. Because of its quick reproduction, it does not only affect the entire marine food chain, but it can also have a negative impact the livelihood of people who solely rely on fishing and other water-related works.
Unlike Spongebob Squarepants’ portrayal of jellyfish where they are mostly pink jelly-like creatures which flutter around a reserve/park and makes jellies and stings those who threat them by zapping them, which is probably the water-counterpart of honeybees, real jellyfish are something more terrible. You see, jellyfish are one of the most dangerous marine creatures – a threat not only to smaller fishes, but also to humans because of their stings.
To make things worse, studies say that the jellyfish is having a superblooming phenomenon, where their population grows rapidly. Why are they having a superbloom? According to Dr. Lisa-Ann Gershwin, a marine biologist who has been studying jellyfish for a long time, the superbloom has been caused by global warming. According to her, warming water speeds up their metabolism making them grow faster, eat and reproduce more. Another reason why there is no population control is because of overfishing, in which their natural predators like several species of fish and turtles, are being fished.
Maybe someday, pest controllers will find way to control marine pests. But for now, let’s help marine biologists and volunteers in saving the seas from these pests to avoid further damage.