|SAJellyWatch Progress Report 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 dont 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:
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.
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.
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:
5 reports of the dangerous Chiropsalmus sp jellyfish were made as follows:
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).
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).