A novel of the bestseller type whose theme – natural disasters – will attract the attention of a broad readership concerned at the future of our planet. Set against the background of the murky interests of big companies.

The book tackles the catastrophic situation faced by a future world that is not far off, a world in which marine fauna have been badly hit, with grave repercussions for mankind. The disaster was aparently caused by the appearance of a species of jellyfish feeding on fish larvae, though in the end the real culprit is glimpsed: the voracity of human beings.

What would happen if there were no fish left in the sea? How far-ranging would the ensuing crisis be? Could science find a way around the problem? And most importantly, who would be to blame?

All these questions are dealth with in Jellyfish. The sea is exhausted. Sustainability in fishing practices is absent from virtually all fishing grounds, and business sectors depending themselves directly or indirectly on fishing are on tenterhooks. Increasingly bitter demonstrations are springing up all over the world. Nobody knows what caused this dramatic situation.

Overfishing, global warming, and pollution are all touted as suspects… though in fact the real cause is a particulary type of jellyfish that feeds on fish larvae and reproduces at a phenomenal rate.

After over four years of shortages and mystery, various governments join together to organise an oceanographic mission in the South Atlantic, off the coast of Namibia, where the plague that is depleting the oceans first appeared, in order to study the jellyfish and to try to come up with solutions. In parallel with this, powerful crisis-driven multinationals, not trusting the governments, back their own mission, involving a team led by a scientist who is a fast-science devotee: he specialises in quick media-friendly fixes of the kind that impress the society of the time.

The leaders of the two scientific teams know each other and have bones to pick with each other. One of them, the American Santi Espada, avails himself of rather unethical techniques: he slips a mole among the crew of the other ship, and focuses his research on producing a pesticide to put an end to the appalling expansion of all those little phantoms of the sea.

The other scientist, Tomás Martí from Barcelona University, works intensively on analysing all the characteristics of the jellyfish and makes crucial discoveries that lead him to assert that the real culprit behind the world crisis, over and above the jellyfish, is none other than the voracity of human beings.



Italian edition · Sperling & Kupfer