Jellyfish are the bane of many Maltese people’s summers… but while most of us are all cosied up in our homes with the heater cranked up to ‘melt-everything-around-me’ temperatures, some of the sea’s pink pests are out there reproducing like a million rabbits.
Thousands of mauve stingers washed up on Birżebbuġa’s Pretty Bay yesterday, with photos from the southern beach showing an impressive (and quite frankly slightly scary) invasion of the pink jellies.
Taking to Facebook yesterday, Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection Deo Debattista gave followers a glimpse into the jellyfish-infested sands… and the immediate efforts to clean up the Birżebbuġa bay.
Soon enough, photos of entire large garbage bags – a good dozen at least – containing all the jellyfish could also be seen being loaded up onto Cleansing and Maintenance Department trucks.
This morning, professor and marine biologist Alan Deidun shared some enlightening information on yesterday’s invasion… and what the Maltese islands should be expecting in the coming weeks.
“This species reproduces en masse at this time of year, with the adults dying off as soon as they release their eggs,” Deidun explained. “The new generation will come of age in a few months’ time, and hence expect a new mauve stinger jellyfish bloom in early-mid spring (April/May).” Lovely.
“This beaching at Pretty Bay is the result of continuous unseasonal south-east wind (Xlokk) blowing over the past few days,” Deidun finished, going on to urge people to support the Spot The Jellyfish campaign, even in winter. And considering all these thousands of jellyfish being washed up, perhaps especially in winter.
“We are always open to receive and validate your citizen science reports,” Deidun encouraged readers. So go forth and snap photos everyone! Just be careful to not get stung though.