Friday, 21 August 2015

Jellyfish invasion: record numbers appear off British coast

Record numbers of jellyfish have been recorded in the seas and coastlines of Britain, according to the Marine Conservation Society

By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

12:01AM BST 20 Aug 2015

Swimmers are being warned that record numbers of jellyfish are amassing off the coast of Britain.

Counts of massive barrel jellyfish have rocketed for a second consecutive year and large numbers of mauve stingers were reported off Guernsey in July.

The potentially dangerous Portuguese man of war has also been found washed up on beaches in Devon and Cornwall.

The Marine Conservation Society said this year was set to be another record breaker as by July - before the peak month of August - there were already more than 1,000 reports of sightings of jellyfish across the UK made by members of the public.
Moon jellyfish
moon jellyfish
Experts said it was important that beachgoers and swimmers 'look but don't touch' as some of the jellyfish have painful or toxic stings.

In 2013 there were more than 1,000 sightings; by last year it had risen to over 1,400 and 2015 is set to be even higher.

The marine charity said the continuing rise of jellyfish in UK seas could no longer be ignored and more research and monitoring was needed to try and understand why.

"Our National Jellyfish Survey suggests significant recent rises in the numbers of some jellyfish species in UK seas, most notably the barrel," Dr Peter Richardson, biodiversity and fisheries programme manager, said.

"The million dollar question is why this is happening? At the moment we just don't know."

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