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Jellyfish Warning for Cornwall

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:01am 9th August 2012

Cornwall is warned to standby for swarms of jellyfish.

Conservationists think the wet start to the summer could explain why there are fewer about.

But they reckon the warmer weather could mean more stingers head towards our beaches.

Dr Peter Richardson from the Marine Conservation Society said: “The incessant rain has meant there have been fewer people out on the beaches or at sea to spot them. The unusual meteorological conditions brought about changes to the jet stream which may have also affected jellyfish lifecycles at sea, although at this stage we cannot be sure. Some of our regular jellyfish recorders have told us they have seen fewer jellyfish so far this year.”

 This time in previous summers parts of the Cornish coast have resembled a jellyfish ‘soup’ when large blooms of thousands of jellyfish were reported. There have already been some sightings of Compass jellyfish and By the Wind Sailors at Porthscatho. Both have mild stings.

The most dangerous are the Portuguese Man Of War. The southwest coast has seen a large number of these in 2007, 2008 and 2009 but there have been no reported sightings anywhere in the UK so far this year.

Dr Richardson said: “Jellyfish are great opportunists and take advantage if the conditions at sea are favourable to them. They are the thermometers of the oceans because jellyfish populations are indicators of the health of our seas. There is now strong evidence that jellyfish blooms are increasing in some parts of the world and this has been linked to overfishing and pollution, while climate change may also be affecting the seas in their favour. The rise of the jellyfish is telling us that we must take better care of our seas.”

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