Jellyfish, the bane of Israeli bathers, may yet become a national moneymaker. An Israeli institute has proposed netting large quantities of the jellyfish that infested Israel’s coastline this summer, preserving them in brine and exporting them to Japan and other Far East countries, where they are considered a delicacy.
The idea was first proposed by Bella Galil of the Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute. She told Israel Radio that the effort could develop into a lucrative export industry.
“In the 1990s, the world harvest of jellyfish was over a quarter of a million metric tons,” she said. “Japan consumed 50 million tons of processed jellyfish a year.”
The jellyfish draw a high retail price in such countries as Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand, Galil said.
The idea has already gotten of the ground with a preliminary study.
Samples of some processed jellyfish sent to a Japanese firm were favorably received, Galil said, adding that plans are under way to begin exporting the product on a commercial level next summer.