Holidaymakers are being instructed to pay special attention when swimming near the UK beaches due to an influx of jellyfish swarms that are headed towards UK beaches due to the warm weather. Within the last few days there have been numerous sightings of compass, moon, lion’s mane and blue jellyfish.
The lion’s mane jellyfish is known for having one of the most painful stings following the Portuguese Man of War and has been spotted as far along as the Blackpool and North Wales coastline. Experts are now telling holidaymakers that they need to watch for blue jellyfish as well after thousands were spotted hanging out along the South West Coastline.
In addition, the Marine Conservation Society is asking any sunbathers that see jellyfish to go to their website and fill out a form indicating what they saw. The aim is to keep a close eye on the state of the seas and where the jellyfish actually are using firsthand accounts.
Head of Science for the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Dr. Melanie Austen stated that they believe climate change is causing the waters to warm and the warmer waters provide more food for jellyfish. She added that overfishing might have also been to blame because there are not as many large fish to eat the jellyfish and help to keep their numbers reduced.
Biodiversity programme manager for the Marine Conservation Society Dr. Peter Richardson explained that it was unusual that there were not many jellyfish reports prior to June which may be because of the cold spring leading to cold waters. However, as the waters continued to get warmer the sightings of jellyfish continued to grow.
Moon jellyfish are the most commonly seen in the UK and thus far there has only been one spotting of a Portuguese Man of War in Cornwall which is the only deadly jellyfish.