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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Levels Of Concern In The Long Swim

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

In helping Jamie Patrick plan and prepare for his The Long Swim, a 78-mile attempt in the Caribbean Sea, jellyfish expert Dr. Angel Yanagihara provided a probability list of encountering box jellyfish in the sea around Eleuthera in the Bahamas.

"I have been to Eleuthera and done a good bit of field work in the Caribbean. But more importantly, I have been collecting field ecology data from around the world for 17 years," explains Dr. Yanagihara. "Marine invertebrate species have specific behaviours and habitats like squirrels and prairie dogs and terrestrial animal species – each species has characteristic field ecologies such as habitats, feeding strategies, daily migration patterns, etc.

By looking at a theoretical set of field data such as bathymetry, currents, tides, moon rise/set, and latitude-longitude, a list of suspects can be formulated. I am happy to apply this information to a real problem like getting a swimmer safely from A to B

She is not yet finished analyzing Patrick's data against the field ecologies of the primary box jellyfish possible threats. To complete her analyses, she will consider the rising high and falling low tides as well as locations of streams and mangroves. But she provided Patrick and his crew with an initial levels of concern of the following box jellyfish (with 10 representing the highest level of concern):

9 - Tamoya sp
9 - C. barnesi
7 - Alatina alata
5 - Pelagic cubozoans
2 - C. xaymacama
1 - Tripedalia

For more information on The Long Swim, visit here.

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