First News

JELLYFISH SUR­VEY

- Animals · Science · Wildlife · Marine Conservation Society · England · England and Wales · Peter Richardson · United Kingdom

IF you are down at the sea­side this sum­mer and spot a jellyfish, you could help with some vi­tal re­search.

By re­port­ing it on­line you will be­come part of the Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety’s (MCS) an­nual jellyfish sur­vey. Thou­sands of peo­ple have taken part in pre­vi­ous years, build­ing an im­por­tant data set on sev­eral types of jellyfish for sci­en­tists to study. One im­por­tant fact dis­cov­ered is that adult bar­rel jellyfish seem to be able to sur­vive Bri­tish win­ters.

The jellyfish sea­son has be­gun, so you are more likely to see them at this time of the year, with south­west Eng­land and Wales known to be jellyfish hotspots. How­ever, Dr Peter Richard­son, head of ocean re­cov­ery at the MCS, warns: “Re­mem­ber, you can look, but please don’t touch the jellyfish… some have a painful sting.”

The sur­vey started in 2013 with the aim of find­ing out more about where the crea­tures are to be found in our waters and how that af­fects leatherbac­k tur­tles. When you get a lot of jellyfish in one area, it is called a ‘bloom’. The tur­tles ar­rive in UK waters in the sum­mer to feed on the large num­bers of jellyfish, so dis­cov­er­ing more about where and when the blooms oc­cur also helps sci­en­tists to find tur­tles.

To help peo­ple iden­tify the jellyfish, the MCS has set up an on­line quiz. You can do the quiz or record your find­ings at www.mc­suk.org.

 ??  ?? A large bar­rel jellyfish in Corn­wall
A large bar­rel jellyfish in Corn­wall
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