Direct evidence of an efficient energy transfer pathway from jellyfish carcasses to a commercially important deep-water species
Here we provide empirical evidence of the presence of an energetic pathway between jellyfish and a commercially important invertebrate species. Evidence of scavenging on jellyfish carcasses by the Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) was captured during two deployments of an underwater camera system to 250-287 m depth in Sognefjorden, western Norway. The camera system was baited with two Periphylla periphylla (Scyphozoa) carcasses to simulate the transport of jellyfish detritus to the seafloor, hereby known as jelly-falls. N. norveigus rapidly located and consumed a large proportion (>50%) of the bait. We estimate that the energy input from jelly-falls may represent a significant contribution to N. norvegicus energy demand (0.21 to 10.7 times the energy required for the population of N. norvegicus in Sognefjorden). This potentially high energetic contribution from jelly-falls highlights a possible role of gelatinous material in the support of commercial fisheries. Such an energetic pathway between jelly-falls and N. norvegicus could become more important with increases in jellyfish blooms in some regions.