Dreaded Dandelion Beaches

Adventure Destinations | | July 1, 2009 at 12:45 am


1294675633544cbdThe sea wasp also known as the stinger or box jellyfish is deemed the penultimate malice on earth above creatures like the black widow spider or rattlesnake to name a few. A single jellyfish has enough venom to take nearly 60 lives.

This threat is prevalent throughout the year in the coast waters and islands in Thailand with places like Phang Na, Koh Mak where the relative of the box jellyfish, the Irukandjis prevail. These four tentacled, chironex-type has been sited from North Wales in UK to as far as Capetown. Even the UNESCO World Heritage listed Great Barrier in Australia which is a prime tourist magnet is closed for swimming during the months from November and May due to this menace with some places having special safety nets that are kept open.

One can find the dreaded box jellyfish that has caused nearly 60 fatal cases in the past century in North Australia with close to 40-50 people needing medical assistance annually. Beaches from Marseillo onward till Monaco have been sufferers of this menace. Cannes, Monaco and Marseilles have invested significant sums in skimming out this menace, but there are always a few lurking around somewhere. From Italy, Shetlands in England, Hudson River in New York all have sited news of the stinging dandelions.

About 20,000 victims needed medical help on the north Catalonia beaches and a whooping 40-100 million jellyfish sightings were recorded in just one summer in the miniature Mediterranean lagoon that lies off the south-east Spanish coast of Murcia. San Sebastian and the shallow waters of La Villa Joiosa in the Mediterranean province, Alicante has also cited such instances.

jelly fish picThere was an overwhelming surge in 2007 when more than 200 jellyfish were noticed in the Hanuama Bay in Honolulu, Waikiki and Ala Moana Beaches in Hawaii. The south and west facing Oahu beaches have seen heavy influx of Portuguese man-of-war and box jellyfish have inflicted their deadly sting above 800 victims. The most perilous times are during dawn and 9a.m. before the light responsive creatures swim back to the darker waters. Many jellyfish venture out after full moon during breeding season which lasts for a few days.

The south and west beaches off the coast of Korea, Japan and China have seen faster breeding of jellyfish due to warmer and drier climatic conditions due to global warming, extreme fishing of innate predators like sharks, tuna, swordfish coupled with decreasing oxygen levels due to pollution in the coastal areas.

One must always keep some vinegar handy as it helps peel off the stings after administering essential CPR or other first aid checks in such instances, avoiding ice packs on the wounds.

Beach globally have become breeding havens for these creatures that have become a significant aquatic threat.

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