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Return of the mauve stingers

Thousands of mauve jellyfish could be seen at Camp Bay yesterday, with beach goers advised to exercise caution in the water.

The jellyfish were seen in high concentrations on the western side of the Rock, with purple and yellow flags signalling to swimmers the presence of potentially dangerous ocean animals despite otherwise good beach conditions.

The new purple flag colour was introduced recently to easily inform beachgoers of the presence of jellyfish.

Lifeguards and children could be seen collecting the jellyfish from the shore and piling them into buckets.

Beaches and Administration Manager Alain Gatt told the Chronicle that lifeguards had been instructed to dispose of all jellyfish found washed up on the shore.

However, jellyfish that washed into the net enclosure on the beach were to be removed and placed back into the sea by the lifeguards.

Jelly Fish Rosia Bay 03-08-18 (Photo John Bugeja) plague

Mr Gatt added the lifeguards were on duty at the beach as from the start of their shift at 12.30pm and immediately checked the area for any presence of jellyfish.

The Nautilus Project yesterday urged caution to those swimming at Camp Bay and recorded the sightings.

“Climate change is driving ever more extreme weather patterns across the planet with global average temperatures increasing regularly,” said a spokesman from the Nautilus Project.

“These factors are favouring jellyfish reproduction cycles and increasing standing biomass.

This coupled with a decline in the jellyfish natural predators, sunfish, tuna and turtles, is why we see the effect culminate in exponential growth of jellyfish species.”

“The strong Easterlies have simply brought them in from the offshore zones they typically occupy.”

“The stings are painful but not fatal. We would advise that swimmers exercise caution when entering the water. Should you get stung then seek out the latest advice from your local Doctor.”

Main photo: Shaun Yeo

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