I was intrigued by a report in Australia about an unexpected maritime hazard in the South China Sea. A tip o' the hat to reader Snoggeramus for sending me the link.
BEIJING has discovered a major threat to its new aircraft carrier: swarms of deadly jellyfish. Now it’s racing to develop weapons of mass destruction to beat them.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Masses of the creatures can be sucked through the warship’s water intakes necessary for cooling the vessel’s engines.
Once in the cooling vents, they get mashed into a thick, sticky soup.
This blocks the cooling system, causing the engines to overheat and bringing the warship to a halt.
It then reportedly takes days to clear the pipes.
Thus the urgent need for countermeasures.
The new jellyfish shredder consists of a net, several hundred meters long and wide, which is towed by a tugboat ahead of the carrier.
This funnels whatever falls within towards an array of steel blades.
What comes out the other side is no larger than 3cm wide.
The effect is so brutal researchers report the waters the shredder passes through become murky as the jellyfish — and other marine life — corpses begin to decompose. It takes up to a week to clear.
. . .
The jellyfish swarms are a sign China’s waterways are becoming increasingly unhealthy.
The fish that usually eat juvenile jellyfish are themselves ending up on dinnerplates.
And the mass environmental upheaval caused by China’s enormous island reclamation project — which has destroyed many South China Sea estuaries in order to create military outposts — is only beginning to be understood.
There's more at the link.
I'm afraid the deliberate destruction of marine life to accommodate the ship is characteristic of attitudes towards nature in, not just China, but most of Asia. The prevailing attitude in many of the countries and cultures there seems to be that nature exists to serve human interests. If it doesn't, it must be tamed, reshaped, or removed until it does.
Sucks to be jellyfish, I guess . . . or any other fish swimming near them!