ATHENS – Hordes of stinging purple jellyfish nearly surrounding Greece and its islands, just as tourists are pouring in, seem to be declining in number and are not swarming, said researchers at the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (ELKETHE.)
The jellyfish’s tentacles are difficult to see and can reach up to six feet or more and deliver punishing blows and a deterrent for some to go into the seas, with tracking sites showing how plentiful they are almost everywhere in theIonian and Aegean.
“This (decline) is evident from the fact that, according to the reports we receive from port authorities as well as citizens, we do not have cases of large concentrations of purple jellyfish – i.e. no swarms have been observed,” said Epaminondas Christou,ELKETHE’s Director of Research at ELKETHE.
But he clarified that, “These are estimates based on the indications so far, as there is no systematic monitoring,” without explaining why given the institute’s area of expertise and interest.
There have been numerous reports of purple jellyfish in the Saronic Gulf, the Argolic Gulf, the Cyclades, the Ionian, the southern Peloponnese, northwest Crete, and the first leg of Halkidiki, according to the recent citizen observations on the iNaturalist platform.