SA Jelly Watch
Jellyfish are becoming more common and they threaten many coastal activities. By taking a few minutes to observe them in your area you can help us to understand if they pose a threat to our way of life.

©Kolette Grobler
A mass stranding of jellyfish on Halifax beach along the coast of Namibia
SA Jelly Watch aims to build up a network of volunteer observers around South and southern Africa monitoring jellyfish on a regular basis. The information that is collected will be centrally organized and will be used to establish a “baseline” understanding of jellyfish biology and seasonality that can eventually be mined (hopefully) to predict when and where jellyfish outbreaks might occur.

Who Can Help: You do not have to be an expert to help monitor jellyfish: if you work or relax near the coast or have an interest in matters marine then you can help. We are particularly keen to enlist the support of regular users of the sea and coast such as walkers, divers, surfers, canoeists, fisher-folk and shellfish farmers, vessel skippers and crew, and harbour users and masters, but really ANYONE can participate.

How YOU Can Help: We need you to make some fairly basic observations on jellyfish whenever you can - even if they are just washed up on the beach - and then to enter that information on this website. The sorts of information we need include whether jellyfish are present or absent in your area, and if they are present how many do you see in a five minute period, and what sort of size or colour are they. It is the sort of information that is quick and easy to collect, remember and record and requires NO previous training. We will give you a guide to the common jellyfish that you are likely to see in the region, so if you can put a name to the animal even better! A list of the sorts of information we require can be found by pressing this link, but you will need to register first before you can enter any data onto the system (see Step-By-Step Instructions below).

© Dr. Andrew Brierley
A trawl full of jellyfish caught on the Nansen off the coast of Namibia
We will also provide you with an opportunity to send us your photos of jellyfish so that we can try and identify them and give you some feedback. There will also be a chance for you to ask questions or to give us other information.

This web site is currently under construction so feedback on ways to improve it would also be appreciated. It is our eventual hope that observers will be able to track their contributions and those of others using this website.

Step-by-Step Instructions of How to Participate



STEP 1: Complete the easy online registration form. This includes asking some fairly general, but compulsory, demographic questions and it will ask you to choose a login username and password. Your details are confidential and will not be available to anyone else, but are necessary because they give us a feel for the demographics of participants. The system will automatically contact you back by email to confirm these details.

STEP 2: Check your email for a confirmation message (possibly in your Junk folder!) and follow the link. You will then be informed of the activation of your account on SAJellyWatch. The above steps are only done once the first time you log on to the site and you will not need to go through this process again.

STEP 3: Enter your login username and password into the Login box on the left column of the site and click the Login button. You will now be able to access the User Menu which gives access to the survey forms

STEP 4: Go to the “User Menu” and select either “Survey by Picture” or “Survey by Text”.

The ONLY difference between the two survey forms is whether you can actually identify the jellyfish you have seen or not.

The “Survey by Picture” form has a picture guide and all you have to do is to tick the picture/s of the jellyfish you have seen and then complete the drop down questionnaires on approximate size and number for each. NOTE – if you have seen a jellyfish that is not on the picture guide, then please use the “Survey by Text” form, and if possible take a photograph of the jellyfish and email it to us (Click the Contact Us button).

The “Survey by Text” is the same but does not have pictures and is geared for those that cannot identify the jellyfish they have seen or have forgotten it! This form asks you if the jellyfish you saw were red, transparent or whiteish: and thereafter you must just complete the information on approximate size and abundance.

If you forget to comment on the numbers or size of jellyfish observed, the system will not let you log out until you do so!

Otherwise the two forms are the same, and include information on the date and time of the observation, the place of the observation and the basic type of observation, as well as details on the species observed.

The date is selected from the calendar by just clicking: scroll arrows at the top of the calendar allow you to navigate between months and years

The time is entered in 24h format - you don’t have to be exact to seconds!

The place of the observation is selected firstly by country, then province and then the city or town closest to where the observation is made. All of these are drop-down menus – all you have to do is select the right one in each case. The country and province details help refine the choice of city or town. Don’t worry if the exact place you made the observation is not listed – the nearest city or town is okay.

The type of observation (beach stranding, underwater observation etc) is again selected from a drop down menu

Finally, Logout!

Happy Jellyfish Hunting!!!