BEACH-GOERS in Levenmouth and the East Neuk are being asked to keep an eye out for jellyfish this summer with a tidal wave of blooms expected to sting the shore over the next few weeks.
Earlier this month Leven beach was hit by an invasion and there were reports of fishermen in the East Neuk finding a higher number of the creatures than usual caught up in their nets.
Since then numbers have returned to normal levels, for the time of year, but one organisation has warned that as summer goes on even larger amounts of jellyfish are likely to return and is urging Fifers to take part in a national survey, to find out more about the creatures.
Peter Richardson, of the Marine Conservation Society which launched the survey, explained: “The jellyfish survey is an excellent way for people to get involved in finding out more about our threatened seas.
“There is strong evidence that jellyfish numbers are increasing around the world, including UK seas, and these increases have been linked to factors such as pollution, over-fishing and possibly climate change.
“We should consider jellyfish populations as important indicators of the state of our seas, and the MCS jellyfish survey helps provide some of the information we need to understand more about them.”
The survey can be completed online at the MCS website but, don’t worry, if you don’t know your barrel from your lion’s mane, a handy spotters guide is also available for download.
So far Fife appears to have got off luckier than most. Spotters in other area’s of the country have reported their seas as resembling ‘jellyfish’ soup and Torness Power Station, in East Lothian, even had to close down for two days recently after an invasion of jellyfish clogged up its seawater inlet.
Jellyfish encounters can be recorded online at www.mcsuk.org