STAFF REPORTER
A new flag is to be introduced on Majorca's beaches this summer warning of the presence of jellyfish close to the shore.
The regional government's Emergency department director, Jaume Coll, met yesterday with representatives of the 17 coastal municipalities who will be taking appropriate action to ensure proper warnings are in place.

Coll pointed out yesterday that the government has spent half a million euros on upgrading beach security right around the Balearics and asked that those responsible for beach management focus on measures being taken to prevent accidents and improve safety.

In principle, the “jellyfish protocol” said Coll, will consist of communicating their presence to pre-arranged coordinates, the warning flag will be raised and responsibility needs to be taken for bringing it down when the “coast is clear.” If the sightings take place out at sea, witnesses are to telephone the 112 Emergency number and an assessment will be made of the situation and what action needs to be taken. The regional government is also providing public information leaflets on what bathers need to do in the event of being stung by a jellyfish. Web site http/:112ib.caib.es provides full details.

The Emergency department believes that the combination of warning flags, public information, and action procedures will provide important protection for bathers.

Meanwhile in Central Government yesterday, approval was given to a campaign aimed at the study, detection and collection of jellyfish, and other flotsam and jetsam around the Spanish coastline during the summer season. Primarily, the concern is on a nation-wide basis to let bathers know about any danger posed by jellyfish and for procedures to be established for their removal from the water as quickly as possible.

The government's move is of particular importance after an agreement between fishermen's associations and the Coastal department for boats to be on the lookout for shoals of jellyfish six days a week during July and August broke down at the last moment. The campaign is also designed to monitor effects of any heat waves, and how water can be saved.

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