Thursday 31 December 2015

'Unprecedented' jellyfish invasion in UK waters in 2015

Warmer seas and overfishing bring record numbers of jellyfish to Britain, National Trust says, as it predicts climate change could make deadly Portuguese Man o' War more common in UK waters

By Emily Gosden, and agency

12:01AM GMT 29 Dec 2015

Britain saw "unprecedented" invasions of jellyfish in 2015 due to a combination of warmer seas and overfishing, the National Trust has said, as it predicted climate change could make the potentially-deadly Portuguese Man o' War more common in UK waters.

Record numbers of barrel jellyfish were spotted in the summer, appearing in huge swarms around the south west of England and Wales, the National Trust said in its annual review of wildlife and weather.

Matthew Oates, nature and wildlife specialist at the National Trust said the barrel jellyfish could be as big "as a dustbin" but were "virtually harmless", with a sting only "as bad as a nettle".

He said the rise in numbers "may be due to overfishing and warming seas, which has led to huge plankton booms and reduced the number of predators".

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