The undesirable purple jellyfish (Pelagia noctiluca) that has proliferated in several parts of the Aegean Sea is now reportedly spreading to the Ionian. Experts say rising sea temperatures and overfishing are exacerbating the phenomenon.
Local reports and the Hellenic Biodiversity Observatory say they have already been spotted off Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Paxos, Antipaxos, Corfu and the Amvrakikos Gulf. There is also concern that the unwanted jellyfish may appear in the Gulf of Patra.
The species, which carries a very painful sting in its tentacles, has settled in many parts of the Mediterranean, and in previous decades, before climate change, its population would explode about every 10-12 years, with each mass occurrence lasting about two years.
This summer is the second year of the current purple jellyfish outbreak, which started in October 2020. However, scientists are not able to say whether their numbers will drop.