8 Feb, 2022 @ 08:45
1 min read

Jellyfish population surge on southern Spanish beaches as rising sea pollution kills predators


MALAGA’S beaches could soon be inundated with record numbers of jellyfish, marine experts have warned.

Climate change, water conditions, the urbanisation of the Mediterranean coast and other factors have led to a rise in the number of jellyfish off the coast of Malaga.

The warning comes in a new report recently published by the Scenographic Institute explaining how the proliferation of jellyfish is due to environmental conditions such as climate change—the warming of the ocean generates a favourable environment for the reproduction of these species—but also due to the disappearance of many predators such as tuna and sea turtles due to overfishing.

According to Jesus Bellido, doctor of marine biology at the University of Malaga, biologist at the Aula del Mar, and head of the ‘Infomedusa’ app, the boom in jellyfish consequently reduces the quantity of adult sardines in the sea, which ‘in turn has a negative effect on other species.’

However, despite the negative effects that jellyfish can have, the head of the Aula del Mar stresses that these species should not be taken out of the sea.

“We are transmitting the wrong message of wanting to manipulate nature as we please. We must be respectful even if we don’t like it.” Bellido said.

For the vast majority of jellyfish the Malaga coast is not their priority area, however, due to currents and winds, many times these schools of jellyfish become trapped in a spiral of water and they are pushed towards the shore.

The Jellyfish species most frequently found on the Malaga coast is the ‘Pelagia noctiluca’, typically mushroom-shaped, transparent and pinkish with yellow spots.

According to Bellido, the sting of this jellyfish is a little painful but it is not dangerous.

Jellyfish are made up of 98% water. They have neither a brain, nor a heart or teeth, yet are able to immobilise their prey with their poisonous tentacles.


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