Jellyfish workshop offers ‘food’ for thought

A Jellyfish Workshop, held by the Manx Society for Marine Conservation, at the Port St Mary Town Hall

A Jellyfish Workshop, held by the Manx Society for Marine Conservation, at the Port St Mary Town Hall

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A few brave souls had their first taste of cured jellyfish during an educational workshop last week.

Families were treated to an entertaining and highly informative afternoon, featuring a mixture of jellyfish specimens, video displays, craft sessions and interactive quizzes, and even the chance to try and eat some cooked jellyfish.

PhD student Grai Hardinge tucks into some jellyfish

PhD student Grai Hardinge tucks into some jellyfish

The workshop was hosted by the Manx Society for Marine Conservation.

Expert information was provided by PHD marine student Grai Hardinge, who introduced kids and adults alike to the types of jellyfish found in Manx waters such as the Moon, Lion’s Mane and mauve stinger jellyfish, while also giving fascinating facts about other species.

‘I introduced what exactly a jellyfish is,’ said Grai. ‘Sometimes it can be a bit confusing.

‘It’s a general term given to something that looks like a blob of jelly.

‘We went through the different species that you get around the Manx coastline, the six main species and the two rarer kinds, such as the By-The-Wind Sailor and the Portuguese Man O’War.’

She added: ‘I’m pleased that there are quite a few kids here. I know that kids like to poke them a lot on the beach, so I thought that this might be quite a good way of actually telling them what they are looking at.’

The crowd were even keen for the jellyfish tasting , even though the enthusiasm didn’t really last long past the first mouthful. The jellyfish on offer were similar to species found in Manx waters.

‘I don’t think it will be rivalling the Queenie to the title of supreme Manx delicacy,’ said Grai.

‘It was hard, chewy and gristly, with not much of a taste at all, and not many went back for seconds. We had mixed reviews about the jellyfish tasting. It doesn’t taste like much, but it’s got quite an offensive texture. I don’t think it’ll catch on, no. It’s not as nice as calamari.’

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