Beach users in Burnham-On-Sea, Berrow and Brean have this week been warned to watch out for jellyfish along local tide lines after hundreds have been washed up.
Barrel and Moon jellyfish, which can deliver a mild sting to paddlers and swimmers, have washed up along local beaches this week, as pictured here on Tuesday (July 5th).
With warmer weather in the forecast for the next few days in the Burnham-On-Sea area, the advice is being given to beach users.
A Wildlife Trust spokesman said: “Jellyfish aren’t strong swimmers and do to some extent have to follow the prevailing currents and winds. A strong onshore wind can force jellyfish onto beaches and, as the tide retreats, the jellyfish are stranded.”
“Jellyfish also sometimes occur in very large numbers, known as blooms. In which case, a strong current or wind can cause the stranding of lots of jellyfish. These blooms are more likely to happen in the late spring and summer. As the temperature and levels of sunlight rise and the amount of food (plankton) available increases, so does the jellyfish population.”
“In winter, when temperature and sunlight levels fall, there is less food available in coastal waters and jellyfish move out to deeper water or south into warmer waters.”
“The most commonly encountered is the moon jellyfish which occasionally washes up on beaches. It is translucent with four horseshoe-shaped masses visible near the centre of the bell.”
A spokeswoman for the Marine Conservation Society adds: “While some jellyfish are harmless or have a very mild sting, others have a more painful sting. We recommend that, for your own safety, you do not touch them.”
People are encouraged to report jellyfish sightings to the Marine Conservation Society via its website https://www.mcsuk.org/what-you-can-do/sightings/jellyfish-sightings to increase understanding of the sea creatures.