photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Johan1900

1. About the event

The negative impacts of jellyfish blooms on public health, tourism, fisheries, and the marine ecosystem have long been acknowledged in the WESTPAC region. With the increasing cases of jellyfish stings and outbreaks in particular countries, it is becoming pressing to understand the jellyfish bloom mechanism and its favorable environmental conditions, in order to forecast and/or mitigate the impacts of harmful jellyfish blooms.

On 5-7 December 2017, the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) organized its first Workshop on Harmful Jellyfish Sampling Protocol and Data Analysis in the Region, aiming to identify the common and harmful jellyfish species, and develop a standardized monitoring approach and sampling methodology of harmful jellyfish in the tropics. During the workshop, participants exchanged their information on harmful jellyfish occurrences, relevant monitoring and research initiatives, and were exposed to the standard protocol of sampling jellyfish in the field as well as hands-on exercises on preservation and identification of harmful jellyfish. A book entitled “Harmful Jellyfish – Country Reports in the Western Pacific” was published as an output of the inception workshop.

Building on the established research network and present knowledge, the 2nd workshop, scheduled for 7-9 August 2019, will focus on the jellyfish polyps in view of its role in ensuring the longterm survival of jellyfish populations as well as in the formation of bloom populations. Meanwhile, the workshop will also examine how to effectively translate the scientific findings into social services for the public health, via the involvement of the local communities into the prevention and mitigation of harmful jellyfish outbreaks.


2. What we aim to achieve

The second training workshop aims to:

  1. improve the understanding, and develop regional capability of research and monitoring with a focus on jellyfish polyps in the Western Pacific and its adjacent regions;
  2. share information on current status of jellyfish occurrences, hazard awareness and research in each country;
  3. identify challenges and gaps and in the development of a regional program to monitor harmful jellyfish;
  4. explore the possibility of building a jellyfish joint research on jellyfish diversity, distribution, and abundance.


3. Who will participate?

Most participants will be invited from among the experts in the first Jellyfish workshop (5-7 December 2017, Penang). Other participants who are interested to join the network or develop collaborations, will also be welcome. Again, they should have experience conducting jellyfish related research and monitoring, and/or be able to lead and carry out jellyfish research and monitoring in their countries for moving forward.


4. Tentative Programme

The workshop will take place in Penang, Malaysia, 7-9 August 2019, comprising plenary and breakout sessions.

Invited keynote presentations will be given on the sampling protocols of jellyfish polyps, discuss the present practices of monitoring harmful jellyfish and the basic knowledge for the identification of the polyps stage of harmful jellyfish.

National experts nominated and/or identified from each country will be invited to provide follow-up reports on: i. major issues on harmful jellyfish in the respective countries; ii. research and monitoring efforts of the harmful jellyfish; iii. related education and awareness activities if any; and iv. what they believe is required and important for a regional collaborative network.

The participants will break into several groups (probably by sub-regions) to conduct detailed discussions about gaps, challenges, and opportunities for the monitor and research on the occurrences and impacts of harmful jellyfish, and to share their approaches, useful experience, and mitigation measures for harmful jellyfish blooms.


5. How to register or apply financial assistance

For anyone interested to join, please fill in the attached Registration Form.

Given the limited financial resources available, a committee will be established for the selection of most suitable participants with financial support. Updated information on the training workshop will be made available, in due course, at this page.

Please submit, at your earliest convenience, the registration forms duly completed to Anastasia Kuswardani (a.kuswardani@unesco.org) and Aileen Tan Shau Hwai (aileen@usm.my), with a copy to iocwestpac@unesco.org, preferably no later than 10 June 2019.


6. Workshop contact

Aileen Tan Shau Hwai
Centre For Marine and Coastal Studies (CEMACS)
Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia
Fax: +60 46533500, E-mail: aileen@usm.my

Anastasia Kuswardani
IOC Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
Fax: +66 2 143 9245; E-mail: a.kuswardani@unesco.org