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Japanese fishermen brace for giant jellyfish

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Japanese fishermen brace for giant jellyfish

Giant jellyfish descend on the Sea of Japan, causing untold devastation to coastal villages and leaving a trail of destruction and human misery behind. Sounds like a great sci-fi flick. But it’s not. It’s real and a nightmare for Japanese fishermen.

The massive sea creatures, called Nomura’s jellyfish, can grow 6 feet (1.83 meters) in diameter and weigh more than 450 pounds (204 kilos). Scientists think they originate in the Yellow Sea and in Chinese waters. For the third year since 2005, ocean currents are transporting them into the Sea Of Japa.

Monty Williams, a marine biologist at Alabama’s Dauphin Island Sea Lab, said the jellyfish grow to an enormous size as they are transported by ocean currents. He said they stay together in packs and as they drift northward, they get caught in fishermen’s nets.

The giant jellyfish are one of about 200 species of coastal jellyfish or large jellyfish that exist around the world. But Nomura’s stands out because of its enormous size.

“The sheer size of them, individually, makes them fairly spectacular,” Williams said.

Spectacular, perhaps, to scientists, but perilous to villagers along the Japanese coast who have seen the destructive habits of these colossal creatures in the past. They had giant-jellyfish invasions in 2005 and 2007, and because they’ve recently been spotted in the Sea of Japan, they’re bracing for another, potentially harmful wave this summer.

The jellyfish destroy fishermen’s nets, getting trapped in them, tearing holes and ruining catches. Fishermen often use expensive mazelike nets that stretch for hundreds of kilometers. When swarms of giant jellyfish tear them, the result is devastating.

“Communities of fishermen and these fishing villages own these nets,” Williams said. “When these nets get wiped out, it actually has this economic devastation for an entire community.”

The good news is that previous attacks have prompted Japan to put in place a warning system for fishermen. While they still risk losing a big catch, they can, at least, save their pricey nets from the invasion of the giant jellyfish.

It’s not clear why waves of Nomura’s jellyfish have made it to the Sea of Japan in recent years. Some have speculated that overfishing, pollution or rising ocean temperatures may have depleted the kinds of fish that prey on Nomura’s jellyfish in the polyp stage. However, no one is certain, Williams said.


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Williams’ 16 points lead Cavaliers in rout

Mavericks Cavaliers Basketball

Williams’ 16 points lead Cavaliers in rout

PITTSBURGH – Mo Williams had 16 points and 11 assists in his return to Cleveland’s lineup and led the Cavaliers to a 96-66 preseason victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 16 points for the Cavaliers (3-3), who had five players in double figures. LeBron James and Anderson Varejao both scored 12 points as Cavaliers coach Mike Brown played his starters until building a 30-point lead in the third quarter.

James had four rebounds and seven assists, while Shaquille O’Neal had six points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes.

Williams, who played almost 28 minutes, was rested in Cleveland’s previous game and missed two others with a sore right groin.

Kris Humphries led Dallas (4-2) with 20 points, while Matt Carroll had 17 and Drew Gooden 10.

The Mavericks dressed only nine players. Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Jason Kidd did not play, and Shawn Marion, Josh Howard and Tim Thomas continued to nurse injuries.

Marion sat out a fourth preseason game because of a right calf strain. Howard and Thomas haven’t played in the preseason because of offseason surgeries.

With so many regulars on the bench, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gave extensive playing time to Carroll, who played 35 minutes in front of his hometown fans. Carroll grew up in Pittsburgh until moving away after the eighth grade.

The Cavaliers built a 51-34 halftime lead as the Mavericks shot 32 percent. They outscored the Mavericks 32-16 in the third quarter to take a 33-point lead.

Brown had hoped to play his starters into the fourth quarter, but because of the lopsided score he lifted O’Neal with 5:50 remaining and James with 3:45 left in the third.

For the first time in the preseason, troubled Cavaliers guard Delonte West dressed and sat on the bench but did not play. West has missed all seven preseason games because of a personal matter, and it is not known whether he will dress Wednesday night when the Cavaliers finish preseason play against Boston.

West, who has been treated for bipolar disorder, was arrested on gun possession charges in Maryland in September.

Brown said West will be part of the Cavaliers’ rotation once he returns, but will not move directly into the starting lineup. Anthony Parker has assumed the starting guard spot in West’s absence.

West is coming off his best season, averaging 11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He shot a career-high 40 percent from 3-point range while helping the Cavaliers win a franchise-high 66 games. He was considered the team’s second-most productive player in the playoffs, behind James.

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Hulkenberg replaces Sutil at Force India

Nico Hulkenberg is determined to make the most of his second chance in Formula One after being given one of Force India’s two race seats for 2012.

The 25-year-old will replace fellow German driver Adrian Sutil, who departs after six years at the UK-based team.

Hulkenberg was Force India’s reserve driver this year behind Sutil and Scottish rookie Paul di Resta, who will retain his seat after finishing 13th overall with 27 points in his debut season.

“It wasn’t easy to watch from the sidelines this season, but I did my best to help the team and show what I was capable of,” said Hulkenberg, who was released by Williams in 2010 despite earning his maiden pole position in his rookie season.
I’m extremely motivated for 2012 and would like to thank everyone for believing in me and giving me this chance. I’m keen to get down to work over the winter to develop our new car and help the team build on this year’s achievements. The first test in Jerez can’t come soon enough.”

The 28-year-old Sutil’s future is uncertain despite finishing ninth overall with 42 points. The only teams with seats available are Williams and HRT.

“Our new line-up means we say ‘goodbye’ to Adrian Sutil, who has been with the team since we entered the sport,” said Force India boss Vijay Mallya.

“He has been an integral part of our success over the past four seasons and we wish him well for the future.”

Di Resta hopes to build on his promising first season.

“I’m really excited about 2012 and there is a real sense of belief that we can continue to push the top teams and take another step forward,” the 25-year-old said.

“I’d also like to thank the team for all their hard work this year and for all the support they’ve given me. I’ll take some time out over the next few weeks to recharge my batteries and hopefully come back even stronger in 2012.”

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