Photograph : Dan Abbott
WHAT IS #GBJELLYWATCH?
The Great British Jellywatch Weekend is the UK's largest Jellyfish survey.
#GBJellywatch allows us to monitor trends and helps us understand how jellyfish are doing. The format of the survey will stay the same, providing long term monitoring, collecting scientific data which can be compared year-on-year, making your results very valuable to our scientists. With results from so many beaches, we are able to create a 'snapshot' of jellyfish numbers across the UK.
OUR JELLYFISH STORY
A few years ago a giant jellyfish took the media by storm. Biologist and wildlife TV presenter was showcasing the epic wildlife on our doorstep with #WildOceanWeek and came across the giant Barrel jellyfish. But Lizzie was left with questions such as how many barrel jellyfish do we get on our coasts? What dictates jellyfish blooms and wash ups?
So Lizzie sought the advice of jellyfish expert Dr Nick Fleming from Swansea University who has been studying the distribution of jellyfish around the UK / Irish coastline for over 10 years. Nick uses jellyfish distribution data to assess if there are any changes in the numbers of jellyfish off our coastlines and whether we are seeing an increase in jellyfish as a result of climate change or if these communities are stable from year to year. Nick shares the vision that with help from the public as citizen scientists we can collect and continue to collect data and start to understand more about jellyfish communities and the role they play in our marine ecosystem, and so collaboratively..
The Great British Jellywatch Weekend was born
Along with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) we are asking the public to count any wash ups of jellyfish seen on their beaches all at the same time, so we can work out the number and top species spotted around our coasts. Lizzie is proud to be working on this project in collaboration with the MCS as she is already a marine ambassador for them.
Photograph : Dan Abbott
whEN DOES THE GREAT BRITISH JELLYWATCH WEEKEND TAKE PLACE?
#GBJellywatch takes place in late August every year. It takes place over 3 days including Bank holiday Monday, so if you're busy over the weekend or perhaps the weather's bad, you have lots of options! Share your experiences on social media - don't forget to use #GBJellywatch #JellywatchWeekend
How does the Great British Jellywatch WEEKEND help?
The #GBJellywatch allows us to monitor trends and helps us understand how jellyfish are doing. The format of the survey will stay the same, providing long term monitoring, collecting scientific data which can be compared year-on-year, making your results very valuable to our scientists at Swansea University. With results from so many beaches, we hope to be able to create a 'snapshot' of jellyfish numbers across the UK.
We know little about jellyfish numbers and distribution so you will be a really important part of getting to understand these numbers! More importantly your results help us spot any problems or unusual sightings and can help us in the first step in putting things right. This is why it's so important that we count jellyfish.
The more people involved, the more we can learn, so please encourage your family, friends and neighbours to take part.
Photograph : Dan Abbott
Joining in with the Great British Jellywatch Weekend is easy peasy - and a great excuse to head to the beach to spot some jellies! Here's our step-by-step guide...
1 Log in to the Marine Conservation Society website to record your data. Make sure you have logged into the website before you go, then get ready to record your jellyfish finds. Don’t forget to bring a waterproof, layers, suitable footwear and a flask – the beach can get a little chilly! Also check the tide times! Alternatively download this #GBJellywatch form now
& add your survey results to the website later.
2 Head down to the beach and choose a section along the beach to survey! You’re going to be looking along the water’s edge (low tide is best) and then along the corresponding strand line (high tide mark!) for any washed up jellies. Record those jellyfish!!
3 Take a photograph of your jellyfish. The more pictures of your jellyfish the better! Share your jelly photographs with us on social media by using the #GBJellywatch #JellywatchWeekend. Make sure you include the hashtag #GBJellywatch in the 'notes' section of your online form so we can keep track of your data.
Haven't found any jellyfish? Fear not, you are just as important. In order to understand the ecology of jellyfish we also need to know when there are NO jellyfish on the beach so go ahead and include that into your data.
That’s it! Once you have submitted your form, by taking part you're helping science find out more about our wobbly wildlife - so a massive big pat on the back and well done from us!
HOW DO I TAKE PART?
Click to Download
The Marine Conservation Society ID guide here