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Jellyfish Warnings

Jellyfish Warning
SAJellyWatch Progress Report December 2009 - June 2010 Print E-mail
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Date:  July 2010 Reporting period:  December 2009 - June 2010

This represents the third of a series of reports that we will be producing at regular intervals about SAJellyWatch. As before, we will inform you about any changes we have made to the site or its content, and we will draw your attention to new images and updated accounts. We will also summarise use of the site and, most importantly, provide an indication of which species have been seen where.

All these reports will be archived on the site and can be accessed and printed.

We are in the process of allowing you to upload photographs directly onto the website, and if the trial version is anything to go by this will be completed well before the end of 2010. So watch this space. In the meantime, please send us your photographs so that we can give you feedback.

Of some interest have been the recent sightings of Pelagia noctiluca around the SW Cape. A dense aggregation was first spotted in False Bay at the end of May, and animals were washed ashore at Fishoek. With time, the aggregation was moved around Cape Point and made beach at a number of locations off Kommetjie and Noordhoek and it has since moved up north past Blouberg. This species has not previously been seen common in our waters and as a consequence it did not feature in our list of common species. We have since adjusted the site to account for it, so that you can now include it in your findings and report it directly. It is a species to be aware of as it has a painful sting, though it is only fist-size, and has a reputation for economic harm. It has inflicted significant damage to salmon farms across Europe and beaches in the Mediterranean Sea are often closed to tourists when blooms occur. This species is a warm-water one, and persistence up the west coast is considered unlikely.

We have added some new photos to the site: Pelagia noctiluca and Catostylus. The former have been taken by a number of observers in and around False Bay, whilst the latter were captured by Caroline Voget from an Eastern Cape estuary. Catostylus appear to be common in estuaries and seem to be encountered frequently by canoeists. We would urge you to report it when you see it, as we still don’t know anything about it.

This third report provides an overview between December 2009 and June 2010.

SAJellyWatch now has a total of 98 registered SA Jelly Watchers. These are distributed amongst the different regions as follows:
  • SA - Eastern Cape - 10
  • SA - KwaZulu-Natal - 20
  • SA - Northern Cape - 1
  • SA - Western Cape – 60
  • Namibia – 2
  • Mocambique – 2
  • Unspecified – 3

As mentioned in a previous report, there was a flurry of registrations when the site was first launched but these have slowed down subsequently and new registrations for the period under review are currently very low (see figure 1) - a total of 19 new registrations. So, again, if you know of anyone that could usefully benefit from this site, or that could contribute information, please encourage them to sign up.


Figure 1: User registrations for the period December 2009 – June 2010.
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A total of 118 reports were made during the period under review. Most of these were made in June of 2010 (see figure 2), and all but one of them originated from the Western Cape Province in South Africa. A feature that was added to the site was the ability to report no occurences of jelly fish in a particular observation area and 29 of the total number of reports made were reports of this type.

Figure 2: Reports submitted during the period December 2009 – June 2010.
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A total of 9 species were reported on during the period under review. Of these species, Physalia physalis was, once again, the most commonly seen.

The following outbreaks were reported:

  • Species Velella velella on 30 Dec 2009 12:03 PM in Fish Hoek Western Cape South Africa
  • Species Physalia physalis on 4 Jan 2010 01:05 PM in Fish Hoek Western Cape South Africa
  • Species Velella velella on 4 Jan 2010 01:05 PM in Fish Hoek Western Cape South Africa
  • Species Physalia physalis on 24 Jan 2010 11:15 AM in Point KwaZulu-Natal South Africa
  • Species Physalia physalis on 3 Feb 2010 09:00 AM in Maputo Mocambique
  • Species Physalia physalis on 16 Apr 2010 02:00 PM in Fish Hoek Western Cape South Africa
  • Species Physalia physalis on 17 May 2010 02:30 PM in Fish Hoek Western Cape South Africa
  • Species Chrysaora hysoscella on 14 May 2010 12:50 PM in East London Eastern Cape South Africa
  • Species Chrysaora hysoscella on 13 May 2010 09:30 AM in East London Eastern Cape South Africa
  • Species Physalia physalis on 22 Mar 2010 02:00 PM in Jongensfontein Western Cape South Africa
  • Species Velella velella on 22 Mar 2010 02:00 PM in Jongensfontein Western Cape South Africa
  • Species Physalia physalis on 15 Apr 2010 12:00 PM in Jongensfontein Western Cape South Africa
  • Species Velella velella on 15 Apr 2010 12:00 PM in Jongensfontein Western Cape South Africa
  • Species Physalia physalis on 10 Jun 2010 11:00 AM in East London Eastern Cape South Africa
  • Species Velella velella on 10 Jun 2010 02:00 PM in East London Eastern Cape South Africa
  • Species Velella velella on 10 Jun 2010 02:00 PM in East London Eastern Cape South Africa
  • Species Physalia physalis on 10 Jun 2010 02:00 PM in East London Eastern Cape South Africa
  • Species Velella velella on 11 Jun 2010 01:00 PM in East London Eastern Cape South Africa
  • Species Physalia physalis on 11 Jun 2010 01:00 PM in East London Eastern Cape South Africa

5 reports of the dangerous Chiropsalmus sp jellyfish were made as follows:

  • 13 May 2010 09:02 AM in Visagiesfontein Western Cape South Africa on the beach
  • 13 May 2010 09:00 AM in Visagiesfontein Western Cape South Africa on the beach
  • 21 Mar 2010 09:00 AM in Visagiesfontein Western Cape South Africa on the beach
  • 6 Apr 2010 03:24 PM in Visagiesfontein Western Cape South Africa on the beach
  • 1 Jun 2010 08:30 AM in Alexander Bay Eastern Cape South Africa on the beach

The site has been visited a total of 1673 times over the period under review which is an increase since the last report: most visits were made during January of 2010 (see figure 3).


Figure 3: Site visits by month.
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The most popular pages on the site have been the Home page, the User pages (User home page, survey forms and user details pages), the Common jellyfish around South and southern Africa page and the Jellyfish 101 page (see figure 4).


Figure 4: Page popularity distribution.
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Danger Notices

There are no danger notices at this time.

Recent Outbreaks

We have no reports of recent outbreaks at this time.