UK & World News
Jellyfish Invade Cornwall - But Don't Panic!
Tourism bosses are trying to reassure holidaymakers that a huge surge in the number of jellyfish off the coast of Cornwall poses no danger.
Every summer the waters around the South West of England are a thriving area for marine life.
But this year the warm currents have brought with them swarms of jellyfish; in particular the harmless Barrel jellyfish, which can measure up to one metre in diameter.
The Barrel is usually found further up the western coastline; Wales, Northern England, and Scotland.
There are concerns that people could be put off from visiting Cornish beaches.
Malcolm Bell from Visit Cornwall told Sky News: "It's no different really to rock pooling - you keep your eyes open for the crabs and everything else.
"It's part of the habitat, it's part of the fun thing about having a British beach holiday."
According to data collected by the public and submitted to the Marine Conservation Society, there were 1,133 sightings of jellyfish last year - a "sighting" can mean anything from a single creature to an entire bay full of jellyfish.
By mid-July of this year there were already more than 500 sightings and that number will increase significantly as the summer months go on.
Scientists at the University of Exeter who are examining the data say the number of reported jellyfish is dramatically higher than when the study began nine years ago.
There is no trend in the number of sightings reported by the public and therefore no suggestion that climate change might be a factor in this year's bloom.
Most common is the Moon jellyfish, which makes up 29% of the entire population. They are generally small, translucent, and have a very mild sting.
There have been sightings of the infamous Portuguese Man O'War, which carries a nasty sting although they are far more rare.
Conservationist Patrick Maher from Dive Newquay said: "The important thing to remember with jellyfish is that they can continue to sting even after they have been washed up on the beach and are dead.
"Don't poke them, don't pick them up - avoid them and allow the authorities to remove them, seek medical advice if you get stung by one, but we are very lucky in Cornwall to have these types of species in our waters."