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How well do you know your jellies? Marine Conservation Society launches new quiz for jellyfish season

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As jellyfish season is well and truly upon us, you’re likely to see more jellyfish around UK shores. The Marine Conservation Society is once again calling on beachgoers to report jellyfish sightings on the charity’s website as part of its national Jellyfish Survey.

This year the charity is also testing the public’s jellyfish identification skills. Teaming up with the University of Plymouth, the Marine Conservation Society has launched an online Jellyfish ID Quiz to understand how easy it is for people to identify UK jellyfish with a view to improving the survey.

The Jellyfish Survey started in 2003 with the intention of understanding more about the distribution of jellyfish in the UK’s waters and how this affects leatherback turtles. Leatherbacks migrate to UK waters to feed on plentiful jellyfish bloom through the summer. However, with limited data on where these blooms happened, the Marine Conservation Society sought to gather data to identify potential feeding hotspots for leatherback turtles.

To date, thousands of people have shared sightings of jellyfish from around the UK, helping to build an extensive data set of six jellyfish and two jellyfish-like hydrozoan species.

Understanding trends in jellyfish distribution and numbers can help with more than just understanding leatherback turtles. Large jellyfish blooms can have real economic impacts on marine industries, and may also indicate the impacts of climate change on our ocean.

In 2014, with partners from the University of Exeter, the Marine Conservation Society published the first paper from the survey data, confirming key information about UK jellyfish and including the first distribution maps of the surveyed species. The paper confirmed, for example, that adult barrel jellyfish have a largely western distribution in UK seas and can survive UK winters.

The paper also identified south-west England and Wales as a jellyfish hotspot, where other work has shown a relatively high probability of leatherback turtle sightings for the UK.

Since the 2014 paper, the Jellyfish Survey has recorded notable jellyfish events such as massive and extensive annual blooms of barrel jellyfish and several summers of mass strandings of Portuguese Man o’ War.

The University of Plymouth is working with the Marine Conservation Society to analyse this most recent data. The charity hopes to run the Jellyfish Survey over a long time period to see what happens to the distribution and frequency of mass jellyfish blooms over time and attempt to explore any links with big-picture factors such as climate change.

Dr Peter Richardson, Head of Ocean Recovery at the Marine Conservation Society:We’ve been running our National Jellyfish Survey citizen science programme for more than 17 years and, thanks to the participation of thousands of jellyfish spotters sending us their records, we are now starting to understand more about our UK jellyfish species. 

“As we start to enjoy the UK’s beautiful beaches again this year, we want as many beachgoers as possible to get involved and send us their jellyfish records. Remember, you can look, but please don’t touch the jellyfish…some have a painful sting!

The Marine Conservation Society wants to continue building on this survey data, helping to develop an ongoing understanding of jellyfish trends in UK seas. To ensure that the survey is as easy-to-use as possible, the charity is also asking members of the public to take the Jellyfish ID Quiz. Working with experts at Plymouth University, the quiz aims to find out how easy it is for people to identify the eight jellyfish and jellyfish-like species that visit the UK using the photo ID guide, with the intention to update and improve the Jellyfish Survey so it can run for many more years to come.

Catriona Duncan, MSc Student at the University of Plymouth: “Citizen science is a really valuable way to gather information and engage people with the marine environment, so we want to make sure the national Jellyfish Survey is as engaging and easy to use as possible. Jellyfish are an animal so many of us are familiar with, but surprisingly little is known about their distribution around UK waters and what causes them to bloom and increase in numbers. This project is a fantastic opportunity to help find ways to improve the survey and encourage more people to get involved for years to come.

To take the Jellyfish ID Quiz and test your knowledge click here, and to find out more information and get involved in the National Jellyfish Survey please visit the Marine Conservation Society’s website – https://www.mcsuk.org/sightings/

Photo credit: Peter Bardsley

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Competitions

WIN a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!

This torch delivers 1200 lumens of light powered by an ion rechargeable battery. There are 4 levels of brightness with burn times between 2-20 hours. Battery charge level is indicated via coloured lights around the on/off button. The beam angle is 10°. The anodised aluminium alloy housing sealed by double ‘O’ rings with a max operating depth of 100m. SRP £125.00 which includes torch, charging cradle and battery.

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported via the Marine Conservation Society that the UK’s landmark post-Brexit fisheries legislation has now become law. The Fisheries Act is the first legislation of its kind in nearly how many years?

Is it:

  • A) 60
  • B) 50
  • C) 40

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Liquid Sports Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch November 2020

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Liquid Sports and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 06/01/21. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Gear News

Northern Diver Christmas Sale starts TODAY!

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This year Northern Diver’s Christmas offers are starting on Black Friday and running until midnight on New Year’s Eve! 

There are some great deals to be had across the site – www.ndiver.com – from discounted Drysuits and Coltri compressors to 15% off their entire Lighting Section!

And if you can’t find the perfect present for the diver in your life, they have a choice of Gift Cards on offer. They are even giving you £25 extra when you purchase a £100 voucher!

The offers don’t stop there – there is FREE shipping on all orders over £100 and even a FREE gift with every online purchase.

Every purchase will get you entered into a great prize draw to win one of their new Electracore 3.0mm Rechargeable Heated Vests!

And should you find that you need to return any of your purchases, Northern Diver understand that Christmas may be a little different for everyone this year and you may not get to see every one over Christmas, so they have extended their Returns Period to the end of January 2021. (Valid for purchases made from Black Friday to end of December 2020).

Some unmissable offers to look out for are the Varilux Zoom, part of the Varilux Black & Gold Range, with its variable beam width; and Northern Diver’s 4mm compressed Neoprene Drysuit, the Voyager, which is on offer for an incredible £475!

For more information visit the Northern Diver website by clicking here.

Photo credit: Joe Duffy

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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