Cyprus Mail

Jellyfish found off Cyprus coast

Photo: Loizos Loizou

Jellyfish have been spotted off Cyprus’ shores, primarily between Larnaca and Vasilikos, it emerged on Monday.

Members of the public have been posting about the matter on social media for weeks, while a fisheries department bulletin last month warned the jellyfish have been observed on the southern and south eastern coasts of Cyprus.

However, the jellyfish could be seen in other waters across Cyprus, the department said.

The jellyfish is the Rhopilema nomadica, commonly known as the Nomadic jellyfish.

The Nomadic jellyfish has a hemisphere-shaped body (scadiadium), the diameter of which can reach up to 1 metre.

It has eight thick tentacles that extend from the central point of the body. The tentacles carry millions of filaments, which when in contact with a foreign body, release a tiny stinger, which carries venom. The colour of the Nomadic Jellyfish is often milky to ice blue.

The species, native to the Red Sea, first entered the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal in the 1970s. Since the 1980s, population booms in the species have been recorded.

The bite of a Nomadic jellyfish can be painful, as contact of the tentacles with the skin causes irritation, burning sensation, itching, swelling of the skin and severe pain.

In case of skin contact, members of the public are advised to immobilise the affected body part to prevent further spread.

They are also encouraged to remove the tentacles or any tentacle debris using a plastic card, a piece of wood or tweezers. Bare hands should never be used as this will result in the tentacles sticking to the hands and transferring the irritation to them.

Sea water or vinegar can be used to rinse carefully but the area should not be rubbed. Fresh water or alcohol should not be used.

Medical advice should be sought before proceeding to use creams or antihistamines.

If a person is a allergic they should contact a doctor or go to a hospital immediately.

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