New plague of jellyfish

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, scientists in Spain are warning that the plagues of jellyfish that have been the scourge of Mediterranean swimmers in recent years will return this summer.

In November, scientists at the Barcelona-based Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM) began studying the life cycles of jellyfish off the Costa Brava, and were alarmed to detect large numbers of the Pelagia noctiluca, commonly known as the “mauve stinger”, growing in the winter, ready for an assault on Spain’s beaches.

The study revealed that jellyfish proliferate throughout the year, not just in the summer. Between November and January, scientists discovered 30 colonies, or blooms, ranging in size from four to 10 jellyfish per cubic metre of water, all along the Catalan coast.

According to Josep-Mar