2013 proved a record year for jellyfish sightings, and a large number of sightings have already been reported in 2014. A new report by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and the University of Exeter takes stock of where and when UK jellyfish occur in UK seas for the first time in more than 40 years.
The report, published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association, details over 5,000 reports of jellyfish sightings of eight different species sent to MCS by the British beach going public between 2003 and 2011 for their MCS National Jellyfish Survey.
The survey is the largest of its kind in the UK and has been attracting a growing number of jellyfish sightings, with 2013 proving a record year when 1,133 reports were received.
This year is also turning out to be good for jellyfish, with over 500 reports already received by mid-July, only halfway through summer months when most records are received.
Dr Peter Richardson, Biodiversity Programme Manager for the MCS, said: ‘Our survey puts jellyfish on the map in the UK.
“In this latest paper we show where and when these species now occur throughout UK coastal waters. ‘he last time the national picture was described was well over four decades ago, so this study provides a very timely update.”
Prof. Brendan Godley of the University of Exeter said: “By taking stock of our jellyfish in this way, we provide an important baseline of information which will help us understand how jellyfish species react to environmental changes that influence our coastal seas, including climate change.”
- Moon – 9% – All around the UK – May to September
- Compass – 19% – Merseyside to Norfolk – June to October
- Lion’s mane – 18% – North Wales to Sunderland – May to October
- Blue -15% – SW England and Wales, NE England and Scotland – May to Sept
- Barrel – 10% – Hotspots in Welsh and Scottish waters – reported throughout the year
The other species are the mauve stinger, Portuguese Man of War (close relative of jellyfish) and the by the wind sailor (also a close relative of jellyfish), which together make up approximately 10% of survey records and are not recorded every year.
The survey depends on the generous support of an army of over 3,500 jelly-spotting volunteers, who have been diligently sending in their sightings throughout the year every year since 2003.
Dr Richardson added: “Our paper shows that publicly driven, collective citizen-science can help us understand our environment on a scale that would otherwise be unaffordable.”
This year MCS has so far received reports of seven of the eight species, including barrel, moon, blue, compass, lion’s mane, mauve stingers and by the wind sailors from around the UK.
As the summer progresses we can expect to see many more jellyfish reported to the MCS survey, and so far barrel jellyfish have made up the majority of reports (see table below), with most of these reported from South West England and Wales.
Prof. Godley added: ‘The remarkable number of barrel jellyfish reported from South West England this year is quite unusual, and at odds with what our report describes, previous years have seen hotspots for this species in West Welsh and Scottish waters.
“We’re not sure why, but the very mild winter probably meant more adults survived at depth, which will have returned to the surface in spring as waters warmed up.”
“This year’s strange barrel jellyfish results highlight the importance of running the survey year in and year out to track these unusual events and discover if they turn into trends.”
Dr Richardson said: “We still know relatively little about jellyfish, but given the economic impacts that large numbers of jellyfish can have on tourism, fishing, aquaculture and even power generation, we can’t afford to ignore them.”
Survey participants should always remember to look carefully at jellyfish before reporting them, but should not touch them as some species have a powerful sting.
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The marine business network, Gosport Marine Scene, has launched its new website at www.gosportmarinescene.com. A one-stop shop for yachtsmen and visiting boat owners.
Using the latest in responsive design, the site can be accessed on mobiles, tablets and laptops with full definition and detail.
The site offers practical information, from a live tidal and meteorology feed, repair and emergency services, to information about the port authority regulations for navigating the harbour entrance.
The berthing and marina contacts are listed, along with the huge diversity of specialist services on the sheltered western shore of Portsmouth Harbour.
With the boat taken care of it’s the crew’s turn. Whether they are looking for a good meal after a long crossing, a well-earned drink, a haircut or a bed that doesn’t roll, the website and its links show where to find them.
Gosport’s sheltered location directly adjacent to the Solent makes it excellent as a permanent base or a jumping-off point for longer voyages and races.
The town boasts more than 2,400 berths and moorings and a 24-mile waterfront ringed with marinas, slips, yards, riggers and sailmakers.
Plus a wide range of chain and independent shops, plus four town centre supermarkets a few hundred metres from the waterfront.
‘A valuable tool’
Ben Lippiett of Haslar Marina, said: “Visiting yachtsmen to Gosport now have a valuable tool at their fingertips whether they need an overnight stop at one of our town’s marinas, or a more lengthy stay.”
“They can find excellent dining in our waterfront restaurants and unique fast-food outlets and our wealth of naval history at the Submarine Museum and Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower”.
“Just across the water in Portsmouth are transport links to London, as well as shopping for brands and exotic nightlife in Gunwharf Quays.”
Wanda Group is seeking a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Sunseeker Group. Sunseeker has announced that, after five years’ service Stewart McIntyre is stepping down as Managing Director.
In August 2013, Wanda Group acquired 91.81% of shares in Sunseeker International Limited. Wanda Group, owned by billionaire Wang Jianlin, who was named China’s richest person by Forbes Magazine in 2013, is a Beijing headquartered conglomerate with commercial properties, culture & entertainments, luxury hotels and department stores across China, Europe and the US.
By 2013, the company had total assets of USD$62.8billion and has been ambitious in global expansion in recent years.
Wanda Group has now formed a special board committee with responsibility for the selection and appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Sunseeker Group.
Sunseeker will also be appointing two independent non-executive directors to strengthen Sunseeker’s operating model and to bring further strategic expertise to the Sunseeker Board and thereby ensure the continued future success of Sunseeker’s business and its global brand.
In the interim, Wanda Group has endorsed the appointment of Robert Braithwaite CBE as Acting President of Sunseeker.
Mr Robert Braithwaite, who founded Sunseeker in 1968, will now work alongside Sunseeker’s Executive Team and Wanda Group’s post merger integration team, who will manage the business, pending the appointment of a new CEO.
‘Not just a boat manufacturer’
Robert Braithwaite, on behalf of the executive team, said ‘Sunseeker is not just a boat manufacturer; it is a family and a global brand.
“We are proud of our heritage, but as a company, Sunseeker has never stood still and we will work very hard together with Wanda Group to further strengthen our leading market position, through cutting edge innovation, world class services and a global distribution network.”
“We have huge confidence that the team in Poole, as well as the wider distributor and supplier network, will pull together as a team to take Sunseeker forward to a successful future.”
Sunseeker launched its flagship 155 Yacht (the largest private motor yacht built in the UK) in April 2014 and will soon be ‘announcing a market leading new model program for 2015 and beyond’.