Thursday, March 17, 2011

Project Jellyfish!

Yesterdays weather turned out to get the better of the Divewise staff and Harriet (one of our 3 vans) most of the sites were blown out and the only site remaining that was originally thought dive able was too rough. So what did we do?

Hellooooo confined water Dry Suit Speciality ......

Don’t worry I’m kidding. Justina didn’t really attempt fin pivots, hovers and an inversion in the wet suit tank. However she and Lieven where enjoying themselves so much I certainly wouldn’t have put it past them to try!

With it being their first experience putting on a dry suit they needed a bit of a hand getting in and out, those neck and wrist seals can be a bit of a pain ....

But soon they were both experts at it ....

Now for the more serious thing that happened yesterday , Nev had ...... wait for it ............. A PLAN!

And it’s called PROJECT JELLYFISH!

Nev and Steph went to visit the University yesterday to view a talk on Jellyfish. They got to learn quite a lot about what’s happening with jellyfish around Malta at the moment along with other conservation efforts.

Most people say they are scared of sharks. In Malta I’ve never been lucky enough to see one but I have seen many jellyfish at certain times of the year. The jellyfish is ever revered by unfortunate swimmers who stumble across them, but generally marvelled at by divers. Probably because they’re easier to avoid when you can see them!

A member of the university started a 12 month programme in May last year called ‘Spot the Jellyfish’. He wants to find out about populations of jellyfish that are present in Malta, what time of year a species blooms and there they occur. He doesn’t really have the man power to survey all the waters around Malta and so needs local people and tourists, especially divers, to get involved. And as most of you will know, if there’s something going on Divewise has to get involved.

The programme is aimed at families and teachers, but unless these jellies wash up on the beach or you’re lucky enough to be stood on a pier where you can view them from a safe distance the only other way you can identify them is to go snorkelling or diving with them.

When I was younger I assumed you couldn’t dive before you were 18. Totally untrue! You can go diving as young as 8. Which means getting up close enough to identify a jellyfish is actually possible for children. So Nev believes, and I agree, that diving is a great way for families to take part in Spot the Jellyfish. If only I’d known this, I’d have had a whale of a time diving with jellyfish as a kid!

So for families who don’t want to miss out we have Bubblemaker courses for kids age 8-12. Kids aged 10 and above can do a Discover Scuba diving courses along with their parents. Also here’s the flyer in case any of you have seen any of these little guys and want to know what they are:

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