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Spot the Jellyfish photography competition

  • The revamped Spot the Jellyfish poster, sponsored by MTA, being put up this year at various coastal sites.

    The revamped Spot the Jellyfish poster, sponsored by MTA, being put up this year at various coastal sites.

  • Comb jellies are innocuous gelatinous species (photo courtesy of Atlam diving club).

    Comb jellies are innocuous gelatinous species (photo courtesy of Atlam diving club).

The Spot the Jellyfish team based at the International Ocean Institute – Malta Operational Centre (IOI-MOC) of the University of Malta, supported by the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), has launched a jellyfish photography competition which will be run in conjunction with the Din l-Art Ħelwa Annual Marine Photography competition.

This year, this new category – which is very pertinent to our marine environment – will focus on jellyfish and gelatinous species in general (including comb jellies and salps).

To provide an even playing field and so encourage budding jellyfish spotters as well, the jellyfish photography will be divided into two tiers: (i) one for those having underwater photography equipment (i.e. Scuba divers and some snorkellers) and photographing jellyfish species underwater and (ii) one for those having a non-marine camera and thus photographing jellyfish species at the surface of the water or dead jellyfish specimens which have been beached.

Submissions of photos, along with contact details and other details such as location, date and depth at which jellyfish species were photographed, should be sent to the following e-mail addresses: Stanley Farrugia Randon, Din l-Art Ħelwa ([email protected]) and Alan Deidun, IOI-MOC ([email protected]) up to the end of August.

The two winning submissions (one in each category) will be announced on Notte Bianca in October, along with the winners of the other categories of Din l-Art Ħelwa’s marine photography competition which will be launched in early summer.

The winner of the first category for Spot the Jellyfish will be presented with a professional underwater watch, while the winner of the second category will be awarded an underwater camera.

The MTA is again supporting the Spot the Jellyfish campaign this year after its success last year, by financing the printing of a new suite of informative coastal posters to be put up at beaches.

MTA has acknowledged the need to generate awareness, rather than alarm, about such species with those who frequent our beaches in a bid to ensure bathers’ safety and also to provide timely information regarding the presence of such species.

The Spot the Jellyfish initiative is also supported by Nature Trust (Malta), Eko Skola, the Blue Flag programme, Friends of the Earth and, as from this year, of SharkLab.

Anyone wishing to receive a copy of the revamped posters can send an email to [email protected], where any reports of jellyfish sightings are also being received.

The Spot the Jellyfish campaign, which has received international recognition in the past for its educational value, can be accessed at www.ioikids.net/jellyfish, and includes updates on jellyfish sightings.

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