Jellyfish, in addition to being one of many ocean creatures that terrify me, are an important part of the underwater ecosystem. However, several reports have indicated an unusually high increase in Jellyfish populations, and scientists are in need of help to understand why.
Enter JellyWatch, a new citizen science project that aims to create a database of jellyfish sightings across the globe. Have you seen a Jellyfish on a family vacation or on your yearly deep-sea fishing trip? Snap a picture if you can, and visit JellyWatch to record your sighting.
If you went to the beach but didn’t see any jellyfish, that data can be used as well. And, the study is looking at more than just jellyfish — sightings of red tide, squid, or other unusual marine life will help build a long-term database that can be accessed and further developed by schools, policy makers, and the general public.
Curious how it works? Visit the list of sightings and see what other people have contributed.
With summer approaching, you should have plenty of opportunities to go JellyWatching. If you end up contributing to JellyWatch, let us know about your experiences by posting on your very own Science for Citizens Member Blog. We’d love to know how it went.