Marine biology

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Warning after 'jellyfish' appear on beaches

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The Maritime & Coastguard Agency has issued a warning to beachgoers not to handle jellyfish-like creatures washed up on the shore.

It said creatures resembling Portuguese Man o' War had been reported at Dawlish, Lyme, Charmouth, Bournemouth, Swanage, Seaton, Hove and Portsmouth.

Duty controller Aimee Rampton said: "Until an accurate identification is made, members of the public are advised to keep away from these jellyfish and report any sighting to the their local council.

"Stings from Portuguese Man o' War can be very painful and potentially harmful to humans and dogs alike."

Internationally famous reefs protected in Jersey waters

Rob England

BBC News Online

Offshore reefs at the Écréhous and Minquiers are now protected by Jersey law, after five years of negotiations with French authorities.

Paul Chambers

The States has passed the ban on disturbing the reefs by dredging and trawling unanimously today.

The ban protects two large marine areas, totalling 62 sq km (23.9 square miles), of important and sensitive habitats in the shallow seabeds around Les Minquiers and Les Écréhous.

Environment Minister Steve Luce said the "complex" agreement with French authorities was under the Granville Bay agreement on shared fishing rights.

He said the reefs were home to "extensive areas of seagrass, maerl and kelp", which were important "nursery grounds" for fish and shellfish.

He added that the new law was a "crucial step" to protecting the island's marine environment.

Minister plans 'rethink' on ghost gear

BBC Radio Cornwall

A Cornish MP and government minister says he'll ask the Marine Management Organisation to look again at plans to force divers who remove old fishing nets and other litter from the sea bed to pay for a licence.

The so-called "ghost gear" left in the sea is becoming an increasing problem in UK waters.

But after concerns were raised that it could mean marine litter being left in the sea Camborne and Redruth MP George Eustice says it could be time for a rethink.

Diver dismantling ghost gear