The Marine Conservation Society has warned of increasing numbers of jellyfish in our seas
Recent surveys have suggested a significant rise in many jellyfish species here in the UK. Already this year the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) have had thousands of reports from the public about jellyfish encounters and it looks like 2015 will be a record breaker if activity continues.
‘The rise of jellyfish in UK seas can no longer be ignored’
The MCS say Barrel jellyfish have appeared in mammoth numbers for a second consecutive year and huge numbers of mauve stingers were reported off Guernsey. The Portuguese Man O War species, which are potentially dangerous, have been washing up on beaches in the South West.
Barrel jellyfish normally account for 10% of annual reports from MCS, but last year they were responsible for 40% and this year 75%.
According to the charity the rise of jellyfish in UK seas can no longer be ignored, as they are an indicator of fundamental changes in the condition of our seas.
Huge smacks of jellyfish are not a new phenomenon; jellyfish blooms having been found in the fossil record over 500 million years. However they can have important economic and social consequences. In the UK large blooms have wiped out salmon stocks in fish farms, and regularly close down beaches in the Mediterranean.
Be sure to report any jellyfish sightings online at www.mcsuk.org