JELLYFISH presence in the Balearic Islands this year is “hardly noticeable”, Ignacio Franco, an investigator at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography said yesterday.

Franco, a jellyfish expert explained that jellyfish are still being swept onto Spanish coastlines this year when north and northeasterly winds are blowing but they are pulled away again when the wind direction changes.

Franco added, however, that although no huge numbers of jellyfish have turned up in the Balearics this year, it doesn't mean that they aren't massing in some areas. “Shoals could be concentrating in waters off Catalonia and Alicante as they did last year,” he suggested. He also said the information he had at his disposal referred only to jellyfish movements in the Mediterranean. “We have no facts about what may sweep in from the Atlantic,” he said.

Franco warned that the “Portuguese Man of War,” a jellyfish with a particularly nasty sting could be on the move again after a couple of years of little activity. He said that jellyfish numbers were increasing on a global scale due to the presence of organic contamination in the sea.


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