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Jellyfish colonies in the Ionian Sea again; How about the Aegean?

Colonies of jellyfish appeared on the shores of the Ionian Sea, this summer and they reached the Greek sea from the coastal areas of Spain, France and Italy.

According to Professor of Environmental Chemistry of the Chemistry Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Konstantinos Phytianos, no one can say with certainty how long the specific colonies of jellyfish will be in the Ionian Sea and in which direction they will move next.

Speaking to daily, Phytianos said that the colonies usually stay in a sea area for a few weeks, however, it is not excluded that they are on the shores of the Ionian throughout the summer, since this is not an unusual phenomenon.

The event two years ago is typical, when large colonies of jellyfish visited Greece’s seas almost from the beginning of summer and stayed there almost until the weather cooled down.

According to Phytianos, the most likely scenario is that the number of jellyfish colonies in Greek seas will increase this summer, which will happen as the temperature rises.

He underlined that the appearance of large colonies in general in the Mediterranean and consequently also in the Greek seas is a result of climate change and the rise in water temperature.

Professor Phytianos also noteed that the purple jellyfish needed special attention, since their sting is dangerous for humans, in the sense that it causes irritation and swelling.

“Also, their sting can cause allergic shock. To deal with the consequences of purple jellyfish stings, a good washing with sea water and the use of antihistamine drugs is required,” he told 

No jellyfish in the Aegean Sea currently

According to Phytianos, the good news, at least for now, is that no jellyfish colonies have been detected in the Aegean Sea.

He explained that this is what large populations from the Suez Canal have reached in recent years, again as a consequence of climate change.

A typical case is the summer of two years ago, when colonies of jellyfish had appeared on many coasts of the Aegean, mainly in Halkidiki, the Thermaic Gulf and the Corinthian Gulf- ).

“We hope that large colonies of jellyfish will not appear in the Aegean again. Two years ago we had a significant problem with jellyfish in the Aegean, with Halkidiki, as a typical example, being full of them. The fact that they appeared in the Ionian does not mean that they will definitely move to the Aegean as well”, Phytianos argued.

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One comment

  1. Elizabeth A. Hall

    Please update this information. As of this week (July 2-today), the purple “jellyfish” have infested the Gulf of Evvia. The beaches are full, but nobody is in sea. (Politika Beach, Daphne Beach). Locations? Migrations? Updates?