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Rising tide of jellyfish is baffling scientists

By Rod Minchin

It has been another bumper year for sightings of jellyfish in the UK, according to conservationists.

The massive barrel jellyfish have appeared in record numbers 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 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. Last year there were more than 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 it.

"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."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph