Welcome to the wonderful world of jellyfish

Posted on Jul 3, 2018

© 2018 Keith Hiscock, all rights reserved.

The blue jellyfish (Cyanea lamarckii)

Jellyfish (Cnidaria and Ctenophora)

What is a jellyfish?

Most people associate the word “jellyfish” with the large, gelatinous creatures seen in harbours and stranded on beaches. These are known as Scyphozoans and they are cnidarians - belonging to the same group as sea anemones and corals. There are less than 10 Scyphozoan species in northern European waters (see below). However, there are over 100 species of small, less obvious, hydrozoan cnidarian species in the same area.

Which species do we see off Plymouth?

Of the 6 species of Scyphozoa we see off Plymouth, the moon jellyfish, Aurelia aurita is the most common. It is very tolerant of low salinity, so you often see it in estuaries and harbours. In some summers we receive a lot of records of the blue jellyfish Cyanea lamarcki...

New UK strategy to protect world’s ocean

Posted on Jun 28, 2018

Last week (22 nd June), the Foreign Secretary announced a new UK strategy that would bring together all of the Government’s current international oceans work for the first time.

Overall, this new approach to marine and maritime policy aims to improve the UK’s efforts to support the protection of the marine environment and economic prosperity both in the UK and the UK Overseas Territories, and will involve several departments including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Speaking at the National Oceanography Centre, the statement from the Foreign Secretary builds on current UK marine commitments such as the Blue Belt Programme, the Commonwealth Economies Programme, and the ‘Future of the Sea’ report released earlier this year by the Government Office...

Environmental Governance after Brexit: contribute to official MBA consultation response

Posted on Jun 25, 2018

DEFRA is consulting on plans for a new environmental body to hold the government to account over the UK’s environmental obligations and ambitions, such as those set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan. The consultation asks whether these environmental principles should be set out in law, and what functions and powers this new watchdog should hold.

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/eu/environmental-principles-and-governance/

The Marine Biological Association has an opportunity to respond and we would like to continue to utilise our members' expert opinions and comments. If you would like to contribute comments for consideration in the official MBA response then please provide them by email to membership@mba.ac.uk .

The deadline for the consultation is Thursday 2 nd August 2018 so comments will need to be provided to the MBA by Monday 16 th July 2018.

If you...

MBA 'ocean indicator' supports microplastic investigation into the Pacific Garbage Patch

Posted on Jun 18, 2018

The MBA is delighted to have supplied an ‘ocean indicator’ for SkyOceanRescue and National Geographic to sample microplastics in the Pacific.

Sky Ocean Rescue Scholar Imogen Napper will deploy the instrument when she sails as part of a SkyOceanRescue and National Geographic team to sample microplastic during a trip around the Pacific Garbage Patch (from Hawaii to Vancouver). Their trip will be filmed to raise awareness of the problem of plastic pollution.

The ocean indicator has been developed by the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey . It is a smaller version of the Continuous Plankton Recorder (an instrument designed to capture plankton samples over huge areas of ocean, the CPR is usually towed from the stern of volunteer merchant ships) the ‘ocean indicator’ is easy to transport, can be used in coastal waters, at lower speed and can be set to tow at...

Third Tranche of MCZs: contribute to official MBA consultation response

Posted on Jun 18, 2018

Defra is now consulting on the third and final tranche of MCZs, which involves the designation of 41 new sites and the addition of further protection to 12 existing sites. The consultation is also an opportunity to provide any relevant scientific or economic evidence that may not have previously been available, or to make general comments on the future of MPA development.

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/marine/consultation-on-the-third-tranche-of-marine-conser/

The Marine Biological Association has an opportunity to respond and we would like to continue to utilise our members' expert opinions and comments. If you would like to contribute comments for consideration in the official MBA response, either generally or concerning a specific site, then please provide them by email to membership@mba.ac.uk .

The deadline for the consultation is Friday 20 th July 2018 so...

Free workshops: Citizen Science Data Collection Tools for Marine Biological Scientists

Posted on Jun 14, 2018

We are pleased to announce two free workshops taking place in July and September 2018 for researchers and graduates interested in engaging citizen scientists in the collection of biological data from the marine and coastal environment.

‘Citizen Science Data Collection Tools for Marine Biological Scientists’ is an introduction to citizen science, focussing on the tools which are available to start a project and collect data from participants.

3 rd July 2018 - Oban, Scotland: Details and Booking

22 nd September – Oostende, Belgium: Details and Booking

Citizen science in the marine environment is an emerging and increasingly utilised discipline. When deployed effectively and appropriately, citizen science has the potential to support the development of scientific knowledge and to engage...

Can the UK remain a world leader in marine science post-Brexit?

Posted on Jun 13, 2018

A Minister for the Marine Environment is amongst recommendations from the Marine Biological Association (MBA) and the British Ecological Society (BES) following a joint workshop which brought their members together to identify how the UK can remain a world leader in marine science post-Brexit.

Hosted in October 2017, the workshop highlighted a set of recommendations to improve prospects for marine science and policy in the UK after Brexit:

Appoint a Minister for the Marine Environment Monitoring, management and enforcement should be adequately resourced A re-organisation of funding mechanisms post-Brexit

Discussions centred around finding significant funding (particularly those funds currently resourced from the European Union (EU)); global research and collaboration; marine environmental protection; and using Brexit as an opportunity to strengthen policy links....