Over the moon with jellyfish
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.