Wednesday, 30 July 2014

National Jellyfish Survey gives a tally of UK sightings for the first time in 40 years

A new report by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and the University of Exeter details over 5000 reports of jellyfish sightings of eight different species sent to MCS by beach-goers between 2003 and 2011.

The National Jellyfish Survey is the largest of its kind in the UK and has been attracting a growing number of jellyfish sightings, with 2013 proving a record year when 1,133 reports were received.

This is also turning out to be a good year, with over 500 reports received by mid-July.

“Our survey puts jellyfish on the map in the UK,” said Dr Peter Richardson, Biodiversity Programme Manager for the MCS. “In this latest paper we show where and when these species now occur throughout UK coastal waters.

“The last time the national picture was described was well over four decades ago, so this study provides a very timely update.”

Prof Brendan Godley of the University of Exeter said, “By taking stock of our jellyfish in this way, we provide an important baseline of information which will help us understand how jellyfish species react to environmental changes that influence our coastal seas, including climate change.”

The main species found in British waters are the moon, compass, lion’s mane, blue and barrel jellyfishes.

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