Herds of jellyfish returned on Friday to haunt many beaches along the Costa del Sol, including Nerja, Vélez-Málaga and Estepona, with the yellow flags being flown as a warning. Bathing at La Rada beach in Estepona was ‘discouraged’ all day due to the number of stingers present in the waters.
The lack of winter and spring rains, sea temperatures and a lack of natural predators (turtles) mean that conditions along the Málaga coastline are ideal for jellyfish at the moment.
Winds and tides affect just how many of these invertebrates manage to drift in to shore at any given moment. The warning flags – red, yellow, green – are used not only indicate the suitability of swimming based upon physical sea conditions – size of waves, winds, undercurrents etc – but also to warn of the presence of hidden dangers, such as jellyfish.
One should not assume that a yellow or red flag flying when the sea looks as calm as a millpond is due to forgetfulness.