Costa del Sol beaches packed this weekend despite jellyfish invasion

Jellyfish on the beach in Torre de Benagalbón on Saturday.
Jellyfish on the beach in Torre de Benagalbón on Saturday. / CHARO ROMERO
  • The plague began on the eastern Costa del Sol on Saturday and spread west as far as Benalmádena on Sunday

The Costa del Sol’s first weekend of real summer weather coincided with the arrival of an enormous swarm of jellyfish. Thousands of Pelagia Noctiluca washed up onto beaches along the Costa del Sol, from Nerja all the way to Benalmádena.

Town councils hoisted yellow flags on the affected beaches along the Axarquía coastline on Saturday, to warn visitors, while the beach-cleaning services used tractors and boats to remove the jellyfish from the beaches and the bathing water. Infomedusa, an app set up by the provincial authority in 2013, keeps bathers informed in real time of the situation.

A crowded beach on Sunday in Malaga.

A crowded beach on Sunday in Malaga. / ÑITO SALAS

Jesús Bellido, biologist and coordinator of Informedusa says that there is no “single explanation” for the infestation, but highlights the fact that abundant rain during recent months plus the strong and changing winds have attracted the jellyfish toward the shores.

The reduction in numbers of sea turtles, the jellyfish's natural predator is also thought to contribute to the increase.

Despite the fact that some areas of the Axarquía coast were off limits on Saturday, by the end of the weekend beaches were once more flooded with swimmers and sunbathers.

Fina Osoria, a visitor to the crowded Misercordia beach on Sunday said, “The water is very cold anyway, so no one is complaining about jellyfish.”