Did someone say jelly

How well do you know your jellies? Take part in our new quiz this jellyfish season

Date posted: 6 August 2020

Have you been to the beach recently? You might be surprised at what you can spot this time of year. Jellyfish season is upon us, so there’s a high chance of seeing these gooey creatures around our shores – and if you’re lucky enough to see one, we want to know all about it.

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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.Dr Peter Richardson,
Head of Ocean Recovery

Take part in our National Jellyfish Survey by reporting your sightings on our website. Want to test your own jelly knowledge? We have something extra special for you. Teaming up with the University of Plymouth, we’ve launched a new online Jellyfish ID quiz. Click here to try out your jellyfish identification skills and learn more about these fascinating creatures – as a bonus your results will be used to help us improve our survey.

We’ve been collecting data on these squishy beauties since 2003, when our Jellyfish Survey was started to gather information on their distribution and how it affects leatherback turtles, who feed on them in the summer months.

Dr Peter Richardson, Marine Conservation Society’s Head of Ocean Recovery, said: “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!”

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To date, thousands of people have shared their sightings of jellyfish from around the UK, helping us to build a large amount of vital information.

Findings published in 2014 with partners from the University of Exeter confirmed, for example, that adult barrel jellyfish have a largely western distribution in UK seas and can survive UK winters. Along with this it has also recorded notable events such as massive annual blooms of barrel jellyfish and several summers of mass strandings of Portuguese Man o’ War.

It also identified south west England and Wales as jellyfish hotspots, linking up with other work that has shown a relatively high likelihood of leatherback turtle sightings in these areas.

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With your help, we hope to run the survey over a long time period, gathering more insights into jellyfish behaviour and distribution and exploring any links with big-picture factors such as climate change.