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The Giant Jellyfish : Turning viral into Citizen Science!

Earlier in the summer I encountered a giant barrel jellyfish off of the coast of Cornwall, UK and it went viral... here's what I decided to do about it.

My encounter with the giant jellyfish came about after I set up #WildOceanWeek to showcase the epic wildlife on our doorstep here in the UK. After I posted the video it went internationally viral. It was so great for the campaign but I was left with questions

How many jellyfish do we actually get on our coasts? What dictates jellyfish blooms and wash ups? What don't we know?

So I sought the advice of jellyfish expert Dr Nick Fleming from Swansea University who has been studying the distribution of jellyfish around the UK / Irish coastline for over 10 years. Nick uses jellyfish distribution data to assess if there are any changes in the numbers of jellyfish off our coastlines and whether we are seeing an increase in jellyfish as a result of climate change or if these communities are stable from year to year and so..

The Great British Jellywatch Weekend was born!


Along with the Marine Conservation Society we decided to team up together to ask the public to count any wash ups of jellyfish seen on their beaches all at the same time, so we can work out the number and top species spotted around our coasts.

The #GBJellywatch now allows us to monitor trends and helps us understand how jellyfish are doing. Plus this will event will now be happening every year!

The format of the survey will stay the same, providing long term monitoring, collecting scientific data which can be compared year-on-year and from it - we hope to be able to create a 'snapshot' of jellyfish numbers across the UK. 

So keep your eyes peeled for jellyfish next summer and you can take part in the Great British Jellywatch Weekend! The more people involved, the more we can learn, so please encourage your family, friends and neighbours to take part.

To find out more head to

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