The Guardian reports busy beaches and warm, calm seas fuel sightings of lion’s manes, compasses and moons. From a “mile-long” swarm in Devon to warnings to swimmers in the Outer Hebrides, it seems jellyfish are difficult to ignore this summer.
High temperatures, calm and warm seas and packed beaches have resulted in large numbers of reports of jellyfish blooms around the UK coast, and combined with a glut of the plankton on which they feed, some are reaching record sizes, experts said. At the fishing town of Brixham, Devon, one kayaker and photographer witnessed what he described as a mile-long mass of compass jellyfish. They have also been spotted in large numbers along the Cornish coast.
The Guardian reports fishing time in first half of 2020 almost double that in whole of last year, Greenpeace says. Supertrawlers vastly stepped up their fishing in the UK’s protected waters during the coronavirus lockdown earlier this year, while most of the UK’s smaller vessels were confined to port.
Photo of short snouted seahorse (one of two UK species) by prilfish under creative commons.
Portsmouth News reports the stretch of water between the Isle of Wight and the mainland has been identified as one of five spots in the UK to benefit from a £2.5m project funded by Natural England and the EU. Seahorses, native oysters, stalked jellyfish and seagrass are among the wildlife that will be protected by the new Recreation Remedies scheme.
Tim Ferrero from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust welcomed the news. He said: ‘Seagrass beds are an immensely important type of habitat for both people and wildlife.
THE TIMES reports Sir David Attenborough has been drawn into a row with fishermen over plans to ban them from trawling to allow the creation of breeding grounds for seahorses and other rare sealife. The broadcaster is backing the restoration of a vast “underwater forest” of kelp in one of Britain’s biggest marine rewilding projects. Dense thickets of brown kelp, a type of seaweed, are an ideal nursery and feeding ground for seahorses, cuttlefish, lobster, sea bream, bass and many other species.
The Guardian reports it has been a highway, a sewer and was declared biologically dead in the 1950s but the River Thames is now a nursery for 138 baby seals, according to the first comprehensive count of pups.
Scientists from ZSL analysed photographs taken from a specially-chartered light aircraft to identify and count harbour seal pups, which rest on sandbanks and creeks around the Thames estuary, downstream from London, during the summer, shortly after they are born.