Heatwaves and long weekends were made for each other, especially if you live on an island like Malta where the sea is always just a 10-minute drive away. But if there’s one thing that can quickly change your beaching plans, it’s a jellyfish bloom… and the islands just happen to be going through a particularly resilient one right now.
Taking to Facebook yesterday – a day which quickly became the hottest June day in 12 years and the hottest day period in 24 straight months – marine biologist and environmentalist Alan Deidun shared a photo of a particularly intense jellyfish bloom in Marsalforn, Gozo, with some bad news for people who aren’t big fans of the floating pink stingers.
“This year’s mauve stinger (Pelagia noctiluca) jellyfish bloom (which kicked off end of last March) shows no signs of abating,” Deidun wrote. “Obviously, avoid swimming under such circumstances and, if stung, use a mixture of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and seawater (never freshwater).”
When asked why he thought this was happening, Deidun said he wasn’t quite sure… but offered a very informed guess
“This is a million-dollar question,” he answered one worried user. “My hunch is that the bloom will be over as soon as the water temperature picks up and thus potential food that the jellyfish bloom depends on will run out.”
“Such a bloom came two months earlier last year, due to an anomalously warm and dry January,” Deidun finished.
Following Sunday’s record-breaking high temperatures, another very warm week will be hitting Malta as we go into mid-June… but while it’s perfect beaching weather, we’d recommend having a look at which beaches are jellyfish-free on sites like MaltaWeather.com and WhichBeach.com.mt… along with Deidun’s own collaborative project Spot The Jellyfish.