Jellyfish halted ferry traffic

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An invasion of jellyfish already has spoiled swimming conditions along much of Norway’s long coastline this summer. This week it also interrupted ferry traffic off Hordaland.

A large mass of the jellyfish known as brennmaneter in Norwegian clogged up the motor on a ferry between Hufthamar and Krokeide in Hordaland County, western Norway, on Tuesday.

“The cooling system was full of maneter,” the ferry’s captain, Lars Henning Våge, told news bureau NTB. He said that cleaning it out was forcing the ferry out of service, but he hoped a reserve vessel would allow service to resume.

The slimy, stinging jellyfish have also caused problems for the local shrimp and fishing industry, clogging their nets and making it hazardous to sort their catch. Several camping grounds and hotels along the coast also have had to warn their guests about an abundance of jellyfish in the water, and caution against swimming.

Several have considered trying to set up huge nets offshore to keep the jellyfish away from the beaches, but that’s expensive and impractical. Colder water this year is believed responsible for the invasion, which may subside if water temperatures warm up.

Views and News staff