Thousands of jellyfish stranded on the coast of southeastern Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
stranded jellyfish
ASSSA

NÍJAR – One of the beautiful beaches on the south-eastern coast of Almeria was strewn with jellyfish stranded over its entire length on Friday. Although the high season is still far away, there were enough people to see the phenomenon. 

Hikers, winter sunbathers, divers and snorkelers witnessed the stranded molluscs on the sand of the beautiful Playa de los Genoveses beach. It is located in the middle of Cabo de Gata Natural Park. 

High sea water temperature and lack of jellyfish 

David Valverde, a diver working for a diving equipment company, suspects that the jellyfish of the Pelagia noctiluca species (the pearl jellyfish) have become stranded due to the high water temperatures. Another hypothesis he takes into account is that it is because of the storm that hit the coast of Almeria at the end of last week. Because jellyfish move in warm currents, they have been able to get carried away until they hit the shore. 

Valverde, also known for plogging (picking up litter while running), announced the news about the stranded jellyfish via his Instagram account. “Not only in summer but also in winter… due to the lack of turtles, angelfish and the rise in sea temperature, this is becoming more and more common!!” he writes. 

According to Valverde, hawksbill turtles are disappearing due to the presence of too much plastic in the sea. The same goes for the angelfish. They feed on jellyfish. And if the jellyfish have no natural enemies, it causes an overpopulation of the species. 

Sad reactions 

The somewhat disturbing images of the popular beach in Cabo de Gata provoked sad reactions from residents of Almeria. An internet user, seeing the images of so many jellyfish on the beach, said: “What a shame for our sea and our planet, this will take its toll on us sooner rather than later”. Another user described the images as “a real shame” and “how awful!” 

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