4 - 6 NOVEMBER 2019



As promised in Barcelona during June 2016, Africa will be hosting the next International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium, as fitting the only continent that has not previously done so. It will be held in Mzantzi Afrika’s Mother City, Cape Town, during November 2019; thereby bring to a close “Season One” of the series!

Africa, as a continent, is a developing continent. In a way that previous host continents have not been. Whilst Africa may have witnessed the evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens, she is nevertheless young and inexperienced….in so many ways. Consequently, the conference will focus on development in its broadest sense: human capacity development, technology development, concept development, out-of-the box strategies around management, etc. There will be an emphasis on students, on women and on persons from developing nations.

Our logo is a case-in-point. Set as a project to students at a local design college, the exercise served to educate and inspire some of a new generation of young professionals, and selecting the most appropriate image was not an easy task. We hope you like our choice.

This web site will be populated over the coming months with progressively more information, and we urge you to bookmark it for regular updates.

Jellyfish Blooms Symposium in the news...

The CDI was invited earlier this year to assist with the development of some unique locally-designed craft products for the 6th International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium which will take place in Cape Town from 4 – 6 November 2019. 

The CDI is exploring an opportunity for craft producers and designers to develop a small range of themed products for this event. 

Thanks to funding from the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), the CDI was able to run a free workshop which was well attended by interested producers. This was a themed product design and creativity workshop designed to stimulate products that could be sourced for the Symposium. 

The workshop, which took place at the Two Oceans Aquarium, also saw Professor Mark Gibbons of the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at the University of the Western Cape, and one of the Symposium organisers, present to the attendees on jellyfish with a view to sparking ideas for unique products. 

Professor Gibbons is passionate about development, which forms a focus of the upcoming Jellyfish Blooms Symposium.  “I am very excited about the prospect of involving local craft producers in global events such as this, because I see it as a win-win for local entrepreneurs and conference attendees alike,” says Mark.

“We have so much creative talent in Cape Town and jellyfish are such beautiful, ethereal and mysterious subjects that the products developed will be sure to have wider than conference-only appeal,” he adds.

Read the full article here…

The names of many a Medusa are grounded in Greek and Roman mythology: think Chrysaora, Cassiopea and Cephea amongst others. Jellyfish feature in the poetry of AA Milne and in the writings of Jules Verne, and were illustrated in the latter’s 20,000 Leagues under the sea by Alphonse de Neuville and Édouard Riou. Jellyfish were painted by Australian Aborigines; they were sources of inspiration for many art works produced during the deco and nouveaux periods and can certainly be recognised in the later cut-out pieces of Henri Matisse. Jellyfish have been eaten in the Far East for centuries. And they continue to enthral and wow the public when displayed in aquaria.

Jellyfish clearly have greater than scientific appeal. Given this, given their aesthetic qualities and given the development focus of this conference, we have agreed to provide a platform for local entrepreneurs to sell their jellyfish-themed crafts. South Africa has a rich, textured craft industry and we have sought collaboration in this process with the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) in Cape Town.

The Craft + Design Institute (CDI) is a South African non-profit company with 17 years of success in developing creative people, small businesses and the craft and design sector at large in South Africa. It is a catalytic agent of change in South Africa, and passionate about developing appropriately skilled and resourced craft and design practitioners who can successfully grow their businesses. The CDI believes that entrepreneurship is the key to unlocking economic growth in South Africa and provides an annual programme of activities to help South African creatives thrive.

The CDI’s services in South Africa are free or subsidised to ensure everyone can have access, offering support where the need is greatest, to thousands of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) across the country. The small businesses supported by the CDI range from start-ups to exporting businesses, and are based all over South Africa – from rural towns to urban centres.

The CDI has worked closely with the South African government, South African corporate companies, and international partners over the course of the past 17 years to develop an international profile for South African design, celebrating South African culture and heritage and helping many South African designers to become household names around the world. Through these exhibitions and trade shows, the CDI has been instrumental in taking South African design to the world.


Following early discussions between the Local Organising Committee and the CDI, the Two Oceans Aquarium agreed to host a workshop, at which interested crafters were introduced to jellyfish, both in science and in captivity, and product ideas were brainstormed. This page acts as one platform for the fruits of those ideas, and we encourage you to support these entrepreneurs. The quality of each product has been vetted by the CDI and the photographs shown here accompany details of the crafter concerned, as well as a contact email address. We ask you to liaise directly with the crafter regarding any orders in advance of the meeting, because the products are hand-made and take time to manufacture. A selection of the items will be available for viewing and purchase throughout the course of meeting, and though stocks may well be limited, future orders can be placed.

Download the catalogue

Themed Issue – Marine Ecology Progress Series
Prof Dr Myron Peck is the Co-ordinating Editor in Chief of Marine Ecology Progress Series (https://www.int-res.com/journals/meps/meps-home/) and he has reminded the organisers that delegates would be welcome to submit articles from the Symposium to a virtual, themed issue of the journal. As happened after the 5th International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium in Barcelona, 3-years ago (Mar Ecol Prog Ser 591: 1-302).

In Myron’s words “MEPS not only has a strong reputation for publishing the highest-quality marine ecology articles, we have also completed a number of “renovations”. We have a brand new (as of a few weeks) online submission / review system (Manuscript Manager), a new website, and our engagement on social media is ever increasing to help authors publicize their work.”

Once a manuscript has been accepted for publication in MEPS, abstracts appear online in a few days and the full article appears online in a few weeks (this includes rigorous copy editing – free of charge). Publishing all articles online as soon as they are accepted eliminates delays caused by “slower articles” in the theme section.
Following the 5th International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium, the FINAL deadline for inclusion of papers in the themed issue would have to be May 2020.
Persons wishing to publish more locally-themed, or descriptive studies would be welcome to submit articles to the African Journal of Marine Science (https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tams20), providing their studies have an African flavour or can be pitched with an African flavour. Whilst it will not be possible to publish a Special Issue of the AJMS unless there is significant interest, we can put together a suite of papers for inclusion in the journal.

More details will be communicated to you at the meeting.

Download official letter


Mark J Gibbons (University of the Western Cape)
Delphine Thibault (Aix-Marseille Universite)
Wayne Florence (IZIKO South African Museum)
Maryke Masson (Two Oceans Aquarium)
Angela Beukes (XL Millennium Conference & Event Management)


Mark J Gibbons (Africa)
Agustin Schiariti (South America)
Lucas Brotz (North America)
Jing Dong (Asia)
Jamileh Javidpour (Europe)
Delphine Thibault (Wandering)


Registration FEES


Registered Students: EUR 250
Delegates: EUR 375


Registered Students: EUR 300
Delegates: EUR 450


31 JULY 2019
8 AUGUST 2019



Angela Beukes – Project Manager
Karen van der Bergh – Conference Coordinator
Marcelle Swart – Delegate Registration & Abstract Management

Copyright © 2019. XL Millennium Conference & Event Management

Message from conference convenor

Trying to do the impossible!


The 6th International Jellyfish Blooms Symposium is now less than 10 days away and we are excited at the prospect of celebrating the science of jellyfish with you in Cape Town. We have tried to accommodate most of you in the programme in the way that you wanted, and this has resulted in a packed calendar; early starts and late finishes. It is critical that you prepare your oral presentations carefully so that you do not stray beyond the allocated time restrictions, which are 12 minutes (including questions) for full orals and 2 minutes (no questions) for poster orals. We will be ruthless in keeping to the programme, and if you stray beyond your time-limit…well, you are warned

When it comes to packing your bags for Cape Town, please try and remember to bring a water-bottle for use during the conference, because whilst water fountains will be available, bottles will not. That said, if you do forget then it’s not a train-smash as glasses will be on hand. The long-term weather forecast threatens some late spring showers so pack a light waterproof jacket, but there is no need for an umbrella. Please leave space for souvenirs crafted by local community members, and we urge you to see the CDI catalogue on the conference website accordingly.

On arrival, if you have not arranged transport to your accommodation via the hotel/guesthouse, and you have not hired a car, then the cheapest way of moving around is by Uber. I suggest quite strongly that you download the app in advance. The MyCiti bus from the airport to central Cape Town drops you off at a most inconvenient place and although you can get from there to the Waterfront, it is a schlepp and not worth the adventure. The collection point at the airport for Uber taxis will be the pick-up zone in the carpark to the right of the exit from the terminal building. Please make sure that you check that the details of the driver and car tally with the information provided to you by the app.

This, and any other information that we will disseminate between now and the evening of the 3rd November 2019, will be sent across all our communication channels.

Travel safely

Mark J Gibbons
(on behalf of the Local Organising Committee)