Jellyfish invasion – eek!

Update: read this jellyfish plague story.

The headline jumped out at me: “Warming oceans cause largest movement of marine species in two million years: Swarms of venomous jelly fish and poisonous algae are migrating into British waters due to changes in the ocean temperatures, a major new study has revealed.”

(Image credit: Ankale flikr)

This is the Pelagia Noctiluca, a poisonous warm water jellyfish which has closed beaches and become increasingly common in British waters – yuk! If they’re migrating into British waters, we can be sure they’re migrating into our waters, too. I was really surprised two years ago, while beach combing at Blue Heron Park near Nanaimo (the beach you see in the photo below), to see a large brown jellyfish quivering on the sand.

It reminded me of our trip to Thailand in January and February of 2009 when, on a long tail boat trip to see the Emerald Cave on Koh Muk in the Andaman Sea, I swam unknowingly through a school of tiny stinging jellyfish – ouch!

Almost immediately, while I couldn’t see the creatures in the dark of the cave, I could certainly feel them stinging me all over my body. Luckily, those tiny beasts were not poisonous. When we arrived later on Koh Lanta, we were surprised and disappointed to see all the beaches along the west coast of the island infested with jellyfish, gigantic jellyfish carcasses on the beach and live jellyfish drifting lazily in the waters, all bereft of swimmers.

Read the newspaper report on warming oceans here.

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