The News -
as recorded by someone who has little or no interest in what is going on in the outside world....
Sunday, 20 January 2008
Ferry study of jellyfish 'threat'
Scientists have posted jellyfish spotters on Irish Sea ferries to study a breed with a painful sting which could swarm along the Welsh coastline. Swansea University marine biologist Dr Jon Houghton has been given £50,000 to find out how many mauve stingers there are between Wales and Ireland. The small purple jellyfish recently wiped out £1m worth of salmon at fish farms in Northern Ireland. Known as Pelagia noctiluca, they have a wasp-like sting and glow in the dark. Swarms of the jellyfish, which vary in size from a 10p piece to the size of a clenched fist, have affected Mediterranean beaches. They are small enough to drift through the mesh of salmon cages and in November 2007 billions in a layer 35ft (10.7m) deep and covering 10 square miles of water wiped out 120,000 salmon in a fish farm in Glenarm Bay, Antrim. This was the first major infestation of the mauve stingers affecting British waters and scientists suspect that global warming is probably the principle cause. The Natural Environment Research Council has given Dr Houghton the emergency grant because there are fears more blooms of the jellyfish around British waters could be problematic, particularly in the summer months. Researchers began going out on ferries leaving from Fishguard, Holyhead, Larne, Rosslare and other ports around four weeks ago. "The trouble is that we know so little about these jellyfish," said Dr Houghton. "Until recently, they were viewed as bags of water that had little or no impact on our ecosystem. Now we need to learn, very quickly, about their behaviour and about their breeding patterns in our waters. We need to get some basic data about numbers, and the easiest and quickest way to do that is simply to send researchers out on the ferries. For the past few weeks, they have been standing on deck looking at the sea and counting jellyfish. That is how we are getting a baseline figure for their numbers."
This is a cheat's blog; a coward's blog. I have taken the conscious decision that it will not be about a world in chaos. The real news which has an impact on the lives of millions is that in which the Four Horsemen appear - war, famine, conquest and death - or in which the Gods have taken it upon themselves to punish folk through natural disasters and disease.... I shall leave such headlines to the BBC and Sky News. Not all my posts will be positive by any means but I readily acknowledge that I have made no attempt to give a balanced view of the news that is genuinely important in this world.
Thanks for stopping by! Would you like a cup of tea or coffee? And please, sit for a spell. If you enjoy my posts, please feel free to follow me or subscribe to my blog. This is a word verification free, family friendly blog, so everything I share here is for all ages. I am a happily married man in my late sixties who lives on the Wirral peninsula, near Liverpool, in the UK.
I'm a blogger - and nowadays that seems to be my main occupation. Rambles from My Chair is my main blog. I’m a retired local government executive - now studying how to survive a neurological disorder that gives me various problems but, hopefully, a whole new outlook on life and an increased sense of humour and perspective. There is a saying in Sweden "man måste vara frisk för att orka vara sjuk" ~ "you have to be well to cope with being ill"....
I enjoy most forms of communication and postcards are a special favourite. I used to blog as Scriptor Senex which is Latin for Old Writer but now Google only lets me post as John Edwards.
“He’s not so old. He’s just the age that he is, that’s all.” (Gerald Hammond)