Korean Government to Develop Jellyfish-killing Robots.
In order to keep the “unwelcome guests” of jellyfish at bay from the summer beaches, the Korea government plans to set up an integrated control system which detects and locates jellyfish automatically and kills them through the use of robots.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has recently announced that it plans to develop the jellyfish control system based on intelligent robots, in order to reduce damage caused by jellyfish as part of the government so-called “Vitamin Project.”
Jellyfish populations may be expanding globally as a result of overfishing of their natural predators and the availability of excessive nutrients due to land runoff. When marine ecosystems become disturbed jellyfish can proliferate. For example, jellyfish reproduce rapidly and have fast growth rates; they predate many species, while few species predate them; and they feed via touch rather than visually, so they can feed effectively at night and in turbid waters. It may become difficult for fish stocks to reestablish themselves in marine ecosystems once they have become dominated by jellyfish, because jellyfish feed on plankton, which includes fish eggs and larvae.
The system shall monitor the appearance of jellyfish with floating “smart buoys” and predict their migration routes. After the analysis, the system will eliminate the jellyfish rapidly by deploying the robots which can chase and grind up the gelatinous fishes.
The Korean government plans to set up the system for trail operation in Masan Bay, South Gyeongsang Province, a place plagued with Moon jellyfish quite frequently. Moon jellyfish or Aurelia aurite, common type of jellyfish is translucent, usually around 25-40 cm in diameter, and feeds by collecting medusae, plankton, and mollusks with its tentacles, and bringing them into its body for digestion. It’s capable of only limited motion, and drifts with the current, even when swimming.
An official at the ministry said, “If the system proves successful, it will enhance our ability to rapidly get rid of jellyfishes coming to our coastlines. With the system, we expect the damages by the jellyfish will be reduced drastically.”