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Panic at the Forty Foot: Jellyfish Increase a 'Bad Sign' for Ireland's Waters

29th May 2011
Panic at the Forty Foot: Jellyfish Increase a 'Bad Sign' for Ireland's Waters
Michael Viney writes in The Irish Times on growing concerns over lion's mane jellyfish and other harmful species in Irish waters.
The lion's mane is among the largest jellies found in Ireland and comes with a powerful sting, enough to disrupt "the stoical bliss normal to Dublin's Forty Foot bathing cove".
"Last year, the jellyfish was even more abundant in the Irish Sea than in 2009, and sightings from ferries found them from coast to coast," says Viney, who notes their and other jellies' dangerous effects on the marine industry and ocean ecosystems.
The decline of certain plankton-feeding species such as herring due to overfishing, coupled with a rise in sea temperature, has led to a marked increase of jellyfish of many different species in our waters such as the mauve stinger, which is blamed for decimating a Co Antrim fish farm's entire salmon stock.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Michael Viney writes in The Irish Times on growing concerns over lion's mane jellyfish and other harmful species in Irish waters.

The lion's mane is among the largest jellies found in Ireland and comes with a powerful sting, enough to disrupt "the stoical bliss normal to Dublin's Forty Foot bathing cove".

"Last year, the jellyfish was even more abundant in the Irish Sea than in 2009, and sightings from ferries found them from coast to coast," says Viney, who notes their and other jellies' dangerous effects on the marine industry and ocean ecosystems.

The decline of certain plankton-feeding species such as herring due to overfishing, coupled with a rise in sea temperature, has led to a marked increase of jellyfish of many different species in our waters such as the mauve stinger, which is blamed for decimating a Co Antrim fish farm's entire salmon stock.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Forty Foot Swimming
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Forty Foot Swimming Spot on Dublin Bay

The 'Forty Foot' is a rocky outcrop located at the southern tip of Dublin Bay at Sandycove, County Dublin from which people have been swimming in the Irish Sea all year round for 300 years or more. It is popular because it is one of few spots between Dublin city and Greystones in County Wicklow that allows for swimming at all stages of the tide, subject to the sea state.

Forty Foot History

Traditionally, the bathing spot was exclusively a men's bathing spot and the gentlemen's swimming club was established to help conserve the area.

Owing to its relative isolation and gender-specific nature it became a popular spot for nudists, but in the 1970s, during the women's liberation movement, a group of female equal-rights activists plunged into the waters and now it is also open to everyone and it is in the control of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

Many people believe that swimming in extremely cold water is healthy and good for the immune system.

Is it safe to swim at the Forty Foot?

The Forty-Foot is a great place to swim because there is always enough water to get a dip but like all sea swimming, there are always hazards you need to be aware of.   For example, a lot of people like to dive into to the pool at the Forty-foot but there are submerged rocks that can be hazardous especially at low water.  The Council have erected signs to warn people of the underwater dangers. Other hazards include slippy granite cut stone steps that can often be covered with seaweed and of course marine wildlife including jellyfish that make their presence felt in the summer months as do an inquisitive nearby Sandycove seal colony.

The Forty-foot Christmas Day swim

A Dublin institution that brings people from across Dublin and beyond for a dip in the chilly winter sea. Bathers arrive in the dark from 6 am and by noon the entire forty foot is a sea of red Santa hats!

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