Field Report: Sailors by the Wind Jellies Spotted In the northern portion of the Gulf of Alaska, Just South of the Copper River Delta

Alaska “Blob” Tracker

Field report from Torie Baker (University of Alaska, Fairbanks) and Caitlin McKinstry and Rob Campbell (Prince William Sound Science Center (PWSSC)):

Torie Baker with the Marine Advisory Program station in Cordova took this photograph and reported seeing a couple acres of these creatures in a rip in the northern Gulf of Alaska, offshore of the Copper River delta area.

20160519_151652Photo Courtesy:  Torie Baker, May 19, 2016.

Caitlin McKinstry and Rob Campbell,  researchers with PWSSC, identified these jellies as Velella velellaa colonial hydrozoan (related to jellies) that are fairly common down in British Columbia, according to Rob.  They float right at the surface and have a little “sail” that sits above the water’s surface that pushes them along when the wind blows. Rob added that their presence here is quite far north of their normal range. Velella velella typically lives in warm and temperate waters, but since they have no other way to move around other…

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