Young jellyfish spotters honoured

Schoolchildren who have contributed in an outstanding way to the IOI-Kids Spot the Jellyfish campaign over the past summer months have been honoured in a prize-giving ceremony held last Sunday. The winning schoolchildren were Mr. Michael Psaila (for submitting the highest number of online jellyfish reports), Ms. Lorna Smith (for submitting the first report of the blue button jellyfish from Maltese waters) and Mr Nathan Portelli (for being the youngest contributor to the initiative).

Ms. Kate Gonzi officiated over the prize-giving, whilst Prof. Aldo Drago elaborated on recent initiatives embarked upon to enhance the educational content of the IOI-Kids website and Dr. Alan Deidun briefed those present on the salient features of the Spot the Jellyfish initiative.


  Mrs. Kate Gonzi congratulating one of the most enthusiastic young participants to the Spot the Jellyfish campaign organised by IOI-MOC.  

The prize-giving ceremony was held during the launch of the 6th edition of the IOI-MOC course on Regional Ocean Governance for Mediterranean and Eastern European Countries, which was inaugurated by IOI President Dr. Awni Behnam.

The Spot the Jellyfish initiative is coordinated by Prof. Aldo Drago with the technical and scientific implementation of Dr. Alan Deidun and staff of IOI-MOC (International Ocean Institute – Malta Operational Centre), and enjoys the support of the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) and of Nature Trust, Friends of the Earth Malta, EkoSkola and the BlueFlag Malta programme.

The initiative follows a citizen science approach and relies on the collaboration of the general public, mariners, divers, and especially the younger generations through their teachers and parents, by recruiting their assistance in recording the presence and location of different jellyfish through the use of a dedicated colourful reporting leaflet. The leaflet was widely distributed, and can be directly downloaded from, which is replete with snippets and anecdotes about different jellyfish species. With the support of MTA, large posters have furthermore been projected on boards along major bays on both islands.

The initiative received international recognition for its innovative and participatory approach. IOI-MOC plans to ensue with the Spot-the-Jellyfish campaign over the months and sustained submissions by the public are welcome through email, sms (79222278) or website.


The initiative is supported by a number of entities, including the Women, Youth and the Sea Programme of IOI, the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), Nature Trust (Malta), Friends of the Earth Malta, the Ekoskola Programme and the Blue Flag Malta Programme.