Over the moon with jel­ly­fish

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Kelly Tarl­ton’s is cel­e­brat­ing the ar­rival of six healthy baby moon jel­ly­fish – the first to be bred in an aquar­ium en­vi­ron­ment in New Zealand.

Mea­gan Ranapia is the se­nior aquar­ist and jel­ly­fish breed­ing ex­pert at the sea life aquar­ium and says the new ad­di­tions are a ‘‘huge break­through’’ be­cause of the dif­fi­cult na­ture of jel­ly­fish keep­ing and breed­ing.

‘‘Trans­port­ing adult jel­ly­fish to the aquar­ium is ex­tremely chal­leng­ing. Jel­ly­fish are very del­i­cate crea­tures and re­quire min­i­mal han­dling. If the trans­fer is suc­cess­ful, then the chal­lenge is mak­ing sure we have the right tank de­sign and food to sup­port them.

‘‘We be­gan our breed­ing project un­der the Sea Life Breed, Res­cue, Pro­tect ini­tia­tive late last year as a way of elim­i­nat­ing th­ese trans­port risks and the re­sults have been fan­tas­tic.

‘‘We now have the knowl­edge to repli­cate our breed­ing pro­gramme on a larger scale, which will mean more jel­ly­fish for visi­tors to en­joy.’’

While moon jel­ly­fish are one of the most abun­dant jel­ly­fish fam­i­lies found across the world’s oceans and most com­mon in New Zealand waters, they are also some of the most mys­te­ri­ous and fas­ci­nat­ing an­i­mals in our oceans.

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