Thursday 2 October 2014

Making jelly babies – mating season in full bloom in Irish waters

Lynne Kelleher

Published 05/07/2014 | 02:30

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Some of the ‘moon jellies’ captured by Ken O’Sullivan for RTE’s ‘Ireland’s Ocean’
Jellyfish captured by Ken O’Sullivan for RTE’s ‘Ireland’s Ocean’

TENS of thousands of mating jellyfish clinging together in a cluster as big as three football pitches have been captured for the first time on film in Irish waters.

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The mass of moon jellyfish, which showed the females carrying their distinct yellow coloured eggs, was shot off the coast of Kerry just yards from the Maharees Peninsula for the stunning new RTE series, 'Ireland's Ocean'.

Filmmaker Ken O'Sullivan said he was amazed when he stumbled across the stream of jellyfish almost a third of a mile long just off the coast.

"We just got lucky," he said.

"It was off the Maherees Islands. There was tens of thousands of them. It was amazing.

"It was about a third of a mile long and about 30 feet wide – the length of three football pitches. I've never seen anything like this in all my years.

"It is the peak time now. This is their Mardi Gras. You can get huge aggregations of them, tens of thousands and they mate and they basically die off. The moon jellies only live for less than a year."

Ireland's Ocean will be shown on RTE One at 6.30pm on Sunday, July 6.

Irish Independent

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