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Moon, compass, blue and lion’s mane – it’s a blooming good time for jellyfish

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jellyfish

Beach users urged to report jellyfish finds on UK beaches

Marine Conservation SocietyThe Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the UK’s leading marine charity, says the number of jellyfish blooms – when jellies mass together – in UK coastal waters is on the increase as our seas start to warm up.

Every summer hundreds of reports of jellyfish sightings are made to the MCS National Jellyfish Survey – now in its 14th year. The survey is providing valuable information about where and when jellyfish occur in UK seas amid global reports of a rise in jellyfish numbers.

Up until July, it’s been a relatively quiet year for jellyfish reports, unlike the last two years when record numbers of barrel jellyfish were reported around UK seas through the spring and summer.

Dr Peter Richardson, Head of Biodiversity and Fisheries at the Marine Conservation Society, said: “There’s evidence that jellyfish numbers are increasing in some parts of the world, including UK seas. Some scientists argue that jellyfish numbers increase and then decrease normally every 20 years or so; however, others believe and these increases are linked to factors such as pollution, over-fishing and possibly climate change. The MCS jellyfish survey helps provide some of the information we need to understand more about these ancient creatures.”

Although the charity has received reports of barrel jellyfish sightings, the number of blue and moon jellies are starting to pick up as the waters around the UK warm up, with mass strandings of both species in South West England and Wales.

Lion’s mane jellyfish – which have a powerful sting – have also been reported from beaches in Scotland and around the Irish Sea. MCS says that anyone who comes across a jellyfish at sea or on the beach should look but don’t touch, but report their sightings at www.mcsuk.org.

Jellies to look out for in UK waters:

Moon (Aurelia aurita)

Most widespread species, occurring all around the UK coast from May.

Blue (Cyanea lamarkii)

Less common than the moon but can turn up anywhere.

Barrel (Rhizostoma octopus)

Can grow up to 1 metre in diameter and weigh up to 40kgs, totally harmless despite its size and is largely limited to the Irish Sea and adjacent waters to the north. Can be spotted all year round, even in winter, but blooms tend to start in March.

Lion’s mane (Cyanea capillata)

Has the most powerful and painful sting of the UK species. It blooms during the summer but is rarely seen south of the Irish Sea (west coast), or south of Northumberland (east coast), with most reports coming from Scottish waters.

Compass (Chrysaora hysoscella)

Has bizarre compass-like markings and is found throughout the UK coast.

Mauve stingers (Pelagia noctiluca)

Occasionally recorded from the southwest in early spring, but large numbers were reported off Britain’s west coast during November 2007, 2008 & 2009.

Portuguese Man-of-War (Physalia physalia)

Rare in UK waters but MCS received many reports from beaches in south-west England in the summers of 2007, 2008 and 2009.

“We still know relatively little about jellyfish and what drives changes in their numbers, so reporting even a single one can help. One thing we do know is that Leatherback turtles travel to UK waters to feed on jellyfish and are usually recorded along the west coast of the UK between May and October – this year we’ve already heard of sightings from the south west of England and the Irish Sea.” Says Dr Richardson.

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WIN a Beuchat Air Light Bag!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Beuchat to give away an Air Light Bag!

The Air Light Bag from Beuchat is a practical travel bag that takes up minimum storage space.

  • Material: 600 denier and 1,000 denier nylon/PVC
  • Soft roller bag, easily stored in its mesh bag
  • Internal retaining straps
  • Zip fastener with eyelets for padlocks
  • Side compartment for fins
  • Outer document pocket with coated zip and carry strap
  • Backpack style straps concealed behind the foam back-plate
  • Drainage vents
  • Red over-moulded wheels; detachable wheel block

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 that the Philippines have been recognised as the World’s Leading Dive Destination at the 27th World Travel Awards. In the article it states how many islands make up the Philippines… how many are there?

Is there:

  • A) 7,209
  • B) 7,532
  • C) 7,641

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

Beuchat Air Light Bag December 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 Beuchat 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 13/01/21. 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

Quick Scuba Tips #1: How To Prep A New Mask for Scuba Diving (Watch Video)

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How To Prep A New Mask for Scuba Diving. Can’t I just take my new mask diving straight out of the box? Well, actually, no. It needs a little work to make it dive ready.

In this, the first in our new scuba diving quick hints and tips series, I’m going to show you how to prepare a new mask for scuba diving with three quick techniques, all aimed at stopping your scuba mask from fogging.

Yes, this link is an affiliate link. Purchases made through these links may earn me a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Dive safe, dive often!

James


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