SAJellyWatch Progress Report April 2009 - November 2009
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Date:  December 2009 Reporting period:  April 2009 - November 2009

This represents the second 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.

This second report provides an overview between April 2009 and November 2009.

SAJellyWatch now has a total of 79 registered SA Jelly Watchers. These are distributed amongst the different regions as follows:
  • SA - Eastern Cape - 7
  • SA - KwaZulu-Natal - 10
  • SA - Northern Cape - 1
  • SA - Western Cape 54
  • Namibia 2
  • Mocambique 1
  • Unspecified 4

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 11 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 April 2009 November 2009.
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A total of 36 reports were made during the period under review. Most of these were made in April of 2009 (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 23 of the total number of reports made were reports of this type.


Figure 2: Reports submitted during the period April 2009 November 2009.
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A total of 7 species were reported on during the period under review. Of these species, Physalia physalis (the blue bottle or Portuguese-Man-O-War) was, once again, the most commonly seen.

The following outbreaks were reported:

  • Species Physalia physalis on 24 Sep 2009 02:45 PM in Kommetjie, Western Cape, South Africa
  • Species Aequorea forskalea on 24 Sep 2009 02:45 PM in Kommetjie, Western Cape, South Africa
  • Species Catostylus mosaicus on 4 Oct 2009 04:51 PM in Gonubie Park, Eastern Cape, South Africa
  • Species Carybdea alata on 21 Nov 2009 09:00 AM in Hout Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

No reports of potentially dangerous species were made.

The site has been visited a total of 1390 times over the period under review which is an increase since the last report: most visits were made during April of 2009 (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 Contact us page (see figure 4).


Figure 4: Page popularity distribution.
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Images on SAJellyWatch: Since we first launched the site we have updated a number of images, thanks largely to the generosity of colleagues working in Namibia. There are still a number of pictures that we need to give the site a regional flavour so whenever you get a chance, please send us some of your jellysnaps. We will of course acknowledge your efforts on the site, and copyright will remain with you. Since the last update, we have added two images of Rhizostoma from the Eastern Cape, kindly provided by Mike Figg and Bayworld, and one image of Chrysaora fulgida (=hysoscella) and Aequorea forskalea lent to us by Charles Maxwell, both of which were taken in the waters of the SW Cape. The beached specimen of Rhizostoma is useful as it shows what these animals often look like when they get washed up, whilst the specimen of Aequorea is something we rarely see so intact on the beaches! Thanks to all contributors

Upcoming Additions to SAJellyWatch: It was our intention during 2009 to provide a comprehensive bibliography of all papers published on regional jellyfish, as well as a list of all local species. As we noted in our previous report, however, these are not simple tasks and we asked you to please bear with us. Unfortunately, time has run away with us and we have not managed to get around to fulfilling that task but we are almost there with it. We will put this up at the start of next year, together with new findings on our research and some information about the researchers themselves. We welcome your suggestions on the site, and a number of these were received during 2009, but not acted upon. Again, this reflects the pressure on our time but we will be introducing new report visualizing tools, image-upload and annotation facilities as well as new links and images. If there is anything that you would like to see on the www site, send us an email with your suggestions and we will see what we can do.