Gallery: Suffolk and Essex beachgoers urged to keep their eyes peeled as jellyfish numbers expected to rise with warm weather
- Credit: Paul Kay / Marine Conservation S
Summer could have a sting in the tail for beachgoers as Mediterranean temperatures attract more than just those hoping to soak up the sun.
Warmer coastal waters across the UK have led to a rise in jellyfish blooms over recent weeks.
The Marine Conservation Society (CMS) is now encouraging people to keep their eyes peeled for any wobbly visitors to the shorelines of Suffolk and Essex.
Those already spotted off the East Anglian coast include the moon and blue jellyfish. Both can be found in waters throughout the UK but neither have a particularly strong sting. People should also keep an eye out for the Compass jellyfish, named after its strange compass like markings.
However other varieties - including Lion’s Mane which has the most powerful and painful sting of the UK species - are rarely seen in southern waters.
Dr Peter Richardson, MCS biodiversity programme manager and jellyfish expert, said: “The scarcity of jellyfish reports before June was unusual and could well be linked to the exceptionally cold spring.
“However, as our waters warmed, sightings of jellyfish increased, with moon jellyfish reported in large numbers around the UK, reports of compass and blue jellyfish in the south west, and blooms of Lion’s Mane jellies around North Wales and North West England.”
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Dr Richardson encouraged everyone to take part in the MCS National Jellyfish Survey, which provides information about where and when jellyfish occur in UK seas.
“We still know relatively little about jellyfish, but large increases in numbers like those in the Mediterranean are telling us about the health of our seas and cannot be ignored,” he said. “We want people to let us know when they spot jellyfish either in the sea or on the beach.”
To report a sighting visit www.mcsuk.org.