Warm weather sees boom in UK jellyfish blooms

Researchers say that the recent spell of warm weather has seen a rapid increase in jellyfish blooms around Britain’s coasts.

The long, cold spring meant there were very few reports before June.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) now says several species including the Lion’s Mane are being reported in rapidly growing numbers.

This particular species has a powerful sting and scientists are advising people not to touch them.

For the past ten years the MCS has carried out a national jellyfish survey based on reports from members of the public.

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They are great opportunists, they have a unique design, if you take away their competition, they will take advantage of that situation”

Dr Peter Richardson Marine Conservation Society

This year was extremely quiet until June, and scientists say that the reason was the poor winter weather.

“What seemed to happen was that we had the very cold spring,” said Dr Peter Richardson, biodiversity programme manager with MCS.

“Normally we’d be receiving records from January onwards, this year we didn’t have anything until May.”

Bloom boom

The warm weather in July has led to an influx of information from all parts of the UK.

“We are getting anecdotal reports of people saying well ‘I’ve been to this beach in the southwest for many years and I’ve never seen so many jellyfish’ – we do tend to get that each year,” said Dr Richardson.

Earlier this month the Foreign Office updated its travel advice for Greece in the wake of large jellyfish blooms there, but scientists stress that there are different factors and different species here in the UK.

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