Spanish island of Menorca overrun by jellyfish

by Lorraine Williamson
Jellyfish in Menorca

MENORCA – An enormous amount of jellyfish has been observed on several beaches along the coast of the Spanish island of Menorca in recent days. While it is normal to see more jellyfish in Spain in the spring and late summer, more are spotted every year. 

The environmental organisation GOB tells the Spanish news site Efeverde.com that the arrival of so many jellyfish is a fairly normal phenomenon for this period of the year. For example, the beach of Es Grau de Mahón is full of washed up jellyfish. Thousands of specimens can also be found on the northern beaches. These include Cala Galdana, Cala Mitjana, and Ciutadella, as well as in Fornells Bay itself. 

Jellyfish population has multiplied in recent years along Spanish coasts 

A few days of easterly wind and a certain sea current promote the arrival of jellyfish to the island´s coast. While a common phenomenon of the conditions and time of year, the environmental organisation recognises that the jellyfish population has multiplied in recent years. 

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Rising temperatures, climate change, little rainfall, and increasingly long periods of drought all mean that little freshwater reaches the sea. Overfishing means that jellyfish are less likely to fall victim to their natural enemies such as tuna and sea turtles. Nitrate pollution and poorly filtered wastewater also provide nutrients for plankton, giving jellyfish more to eat. 

Often jellyfish explosion in spring and end of summer in Spain 

Menorca is the first place in Spain to see so many jellyfish this year. There is often an increase in the presence of jellyfish in spring and at the end of summer. In August 2021, Spain last faced a huge presence of jellyfish on several beaches, especially along the southern Spanish coast. Huge specimens were then spotted on various beaches in Andalucia. 

Also read: Predict the presence of jellyfish

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