Three jellyfish species, Aurelia aurita, Cyanea nozakii and Nemopilema nomurai, form large blooms in Chinese seas. We report on the distribution and increasing incidence of jellyfish blooms and their consequences in Chinese coastal seas and analyze their relationship to anthropogenically derived changes to the environment in order to determine the possible causes. A. aurita, C. nozakii and N. nomurai form blooms in the temperate Chinese seas including the northern East China Sea, Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea. N. nomurai forms offshore blooms while the other two species bloom mainly in inshore areas. Eutrophication, overfishing, habitat modification for aquaculture and climate change are all possible contributory factors facilitating plausible mechanisms for the proliferation of jellyfish blooms. In the absence of improvement in coastal marine ecosystem health, jellyfish blooms could be sustained and may even spread from the locations in which they now occur.
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