Jellyfish appear earlier than usual at the Costa Blanca

by Lorraine Williamson

DENIA – Residents in the Costa Blanca area of Denia have warned in recent days that the beach of Les Albaranes in Denia (Alicante) is full of jellyfish. The city authorities have confirmed the presence of these animals in the waters at that part of the Mediterranean Sea. 

That is why the cleaning services are already at work to remove all the dead specimens that accumulate on the banks. The jellyfish are spotted earlier in the season than usual for a simple reason. 

The increased water temperature of the Mediterranean Sea due to the early high temperatures has the additional effect that the water also contains more food. That led to the earlier appearance of these molluscs. Jellyfish have never been seen so early in spring on this part of the Spanish coast. 

“It is still too early for their appearance. There are already many close to the beaches, but further out in the sea, it is full,” a man who dived a few days ago told 20Minutos newspaper. 

“It disrupted our plans” 

Tourists have already expressed their displeasure at the presence of these animals. “We came here with the children and it disrupted our plans because they wanted to swim. We will look for another beach where there are no jellyfish,” a tourist explained to Nius Diario. 

Other swimmers have also expressed concern about what summer will be like when temperatures rise above 30°C. “I don’t even want to think about it, if it is difficult now, it will be impossible to swim in August,” another tourist confirmed. 

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Pearl jellyfish 

These are specimens of Pelagia noctiluca, a species that causes very nasty stings when they come into contact with the skin. It is a relatively small jellyfish, with a diameter of about 15 cm. The jellyfish has a characteristic blue colour and its tentacles are covered with small pearls, hence the name. 

Pearl jellyfish are very invasive and can quickly form large numbers. They feed on small fish and plankton, which can deplete fish stocks in the Mediterranean. 

As a result of these issues, scientists have been researching ways to control the pearl jellyfish population. One of the possible solutions is to develop special nets that catch the jellyfish without harming other marine life. 

Other solutions focus on reducing the food supply for the jellyfish, for example by reducing the amount of artificial lighting near coastal areas, as this attracts plankton and with it the pearl jellyfish. 

Related post: Thousands of jellyfish stranded on the Coast of Southeastern Spain 

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