Mil­lions of jel­ly­fish along Mata’s east coast

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS -

Mil­lions of jel­ly­fish were seen yes­ter­day along the en­tire east coast of Malta, in what ma­rine bi­ol­o­gist Alan Dei­dun de­scribed as ‘pur­ple car­pets’ of mauve stingers ( pela­gia noc­tiluca) in Birzeb­buġa, St Thomas Bay, Xgħa­jra, Msida and Baħar ic-Cagħaq.

Prof. Dei­dun, who co­or­di­nates the Spot the Jel­ly­fish cit­i­zen sci­ence cam­paign, said the bloom con­sisted of just the one species which nor­mally bloom in Mal­tese waters in late May and early June.

He said this year’s bloom had been an­tic­i­pated by a few weeks, pos­si­bly due to the on­set of an anoma­lously dry and warm Jan­uary, known to trig­ger the an­nual spawn­ing/re­pro­duc­tion of the species, which nor­mally hap­pens in late win­ter.

The bloom, re­ported as part of the Spot the Jel­ly­fish cam­paign, is ex­pected to last no more than a few weeks. The cam­paign is run by the In­ter­na­tional Ocean In­sti­tute and sup­ported by the Malta Tourism Au­thor­ity.

Mem­bers of the pub­lic are en­cour­aged to con­tinue sup­port­ing the cam­paign through jel­ly­fish sight­ing re­ports, which can be sub­mit­ted on the cam­paign web­site, Face­book page and also via email to alan.dei­dun@gmail.com

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