Welcome to the wonderful world of jellyfish

Posted on Jun 19, 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...

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....

Long-term monitoring reveals how pink salmon influence their food supply in a region of the north Pacific ocean

Posted on May 25, 2018

Scientists have discovered that a single, exceptionally abundant fish species can impact the food supply in an entire region with consequences for other species and for the way marine resources are managed.

The scientists, led by the Marine Biological Association’s Dr Sonia Batten , used a continuous plankton recorder (CPR) which is towed behind commercial ships, to collect plankton data during summer months between 2000 and 2014, across 1000s of kilometers of the southern Bering Sea and North Pacific. Pink salmon are exceptionally abundant in odd-numbered years (up to 650 million adult fish), owing to their two-year life history, and they represent nearly 70% of all Pacific salmon. Pink salmon are more abundant now than ever since comprehensive monitoring began in 1925 and they consume significant amounts of zooplankton as they migrate throughout the study region. The study...

MP visits the Marine Biological Association

Posted on May 23, 2018

Last year Dr Matt Frost spent a week in parliament shadowing the local southeast Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray. On Tuesday May 29 it is her turn to shadow Dr Frost.

Sheryll Murray will spend the day at the Marine Biological Association's Plymouth laboratory learning about science-policy interactions, meeting experts who can provide evidence on policy issues, and find out about the science behind the issues raised by her constituents.

The visits are part of a Royal Society scheme pairing scientists with policy-makers that gives policymakers and research scientists an opportunity to experience each other’s worlds.