Friends of the Earth Malta is once again supporting the Spot the Jellyfish initiative which aims to increase awareness, especially amongst the younger generations, about the local diversity of jellyfish species, through a hands-on exercise involving the reporting of sightings of jellyfish that often swarm close to our shores and beaches. In so doing the initiative would be supplying useful data for local marine scientists and tourist authorities, through a citizen science approach… and aid to avoid those stinging jellies!
The jellyfish reporting is done by matching the sighted jellyfish with a simple visual identification guide, giving the date and time of the sighting, and indicating the number of individual jellyfish seen. Sightings may also be reported online at www.ioikids.net/jellyfish or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. People who see jellyfish that are not included on the leaflet should try to catch one and keep it in a bucketful of seawater, prior to contacting staff at the Department of Geosciences for it to be collected to attempt a definite identification of the species.
The Spot the Jellyfish initiative, which is currently funded by the International Ocean Institute and the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), has been running since June 2010 and also enjoys the support of Nature Trust, Ekoskola, the Blue Flag Malta programme and Sharklab.