Jellyfish are well known for their stinging tentacles rather than their place as a food staple. However, scientists in Australia are encouraging the public to add them into our diets. While this may seem odd, jellyfish have actually been consumed in some Asian countries such as China, Japan and across Southeast Asia for many years. It is even considered a delicacy in some regions.
Having jellyfish in our diet can move us towards more sustainable fishing. Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland Carissa Klein says that Australia’s food labelling laws mean food outlets like restaurants and take away shops don’t have to tell us the type of fish we are purchasing when ordering fish and chips. This is unlike other meats where they would specify whether it was beef or chicken. This detail is important because there are 92 endangered and 11 critically endangered species of seafood still being fished for around the world that are simply served as ‘fish’ or ‘flake’ meaning we are putting these species under further threat.
There are a number of other benefits of consuming jellyfish. Jellyfish are associated with a number of health benefits including the treatment of high blood pressure, arthritis, bone pain, ulcers and digestive issues. Another benefit highlighted by marine biologist Lisa-Ann Gershwin is that jellyfish are generally not endangered. ‘With fish, you fish them out and they’re all gone, but with jellyfish it is like picking apples from a tree,’ she says.