By: Ann Kunz
The uShaka Sea World aquarists took a trip down the lower south coast of KZN to the Mzamba river to collect some blue jellyfish for display in the aquarium.
The process of collecting these jellyfish required expert and gentle handling as jellyfish, having soft bodies, are fragile and can easily be damaged.
The jellyfish were collected using plastic hoop bags which were placed in the water prior to lifting the jellyfish so that the weight of the jellyfish didn’t cause damage to their bells.
The jellyfish were then placed into plastic bags in groups of three or four, depending on the size of the jellyfish. Before being tied, these bags were then half filled with water and a balloon filled with pure oxygen (O2) was placed inside the bag. Balloons have hundreds of microscopic holes through which oxygen slowly escapes over a period of about four hours.
Once the jellyfish arrived at uShaka SeaWorld they were housed in the culture’s lab for a mandatory quarantine period before being introduced to the aquarium exhibit.
Jellyfish thrive in round cylinder shaped exhibits with a strong and steady current which allows their natural pulsating behaviour.
Visitors to the aquarium never fail to stop and spend time gazing into these most beautiful and mesmerising jellyfish. We hope that we will soon be open to the public again and have no doubt that you will enjoy spending time watching these jellyfish glide up and down the water column on your next visit.