While the number of fish in our oceans continues to decrease, changing environmental conditions seem to favour jellyfish. They occur more often in large blooms. So far, they are considered annoying, if not dangerous. The project GoJelly, which is coordinated at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, aims to change that perception and to investigate the suitability of the organisms as microplastic filters, fertilizers or fish feed.
In 2017, the European Union approved the funding with a total of six million euros for the next four years. Last week, the project participants have met for the kick-off meeting in Funchal (Madeira, Portugal). On 8 January 2018 over forty representatives of 15 universities, scientific institutions and small and medium-sized enterprises from eight countries discussed during the 2-day conference the first steps and how the various sub-projects can cooperate as efficiently as possible.
A visit by the President of the Regional Government, His Excellency Miguel Albuquerque, showed the great interest even politics has in the project. “The GoJelly project will actively contribute to the newly proposed European strategy to combat plastic pollution while empowering the industry sector through the development of a variety of blue-green biotechnology products based on jellyfish raw material,” says Dr. Patricia Cabezas from the European Science Foundation.