herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Alert over venomous jellyfish in Dublin

DUBLIN bathers are being warned to watch out for a native venomous jellyfish which can cause painful stings this summer -- because of the rise in temperatures.

The lion's mane jellyfish, which can be up to 60 centimetres in length with tentacles of three to four metres long, exists in the areas stretching from Bray to Carlingford Lough, including Dublin Bay.

With a scorching bank holiday weekend now forecast, Tom Doyle, from the Coastal and Marine Research Centre in University College Cork, warned that both casual bathers and open-water swimmers in Dublin should be vigilant this summer.

Among the areas that could be affected are Sandycove and the Forty Foot.

"The numbers are increasing. Last year they were more abundant than the year before. We're trying to investigate how much they're increasing and what are their impacts. From Bray to Carlingford Lough, that's where the lion's mane jellyfish is very abundant, and it's important for people, especially children, to be vigilant. If you swim right into one, you're going to be in excruciating pain."

The sting of the lion's mane and its abundance have led to beach closures, for example in Dublin in 2005, and a sign was posted at Dollymount Strand last July warning of the species presence.

"Unfortunately Dublin Bay is where they are. They're homegrown, they're local species. Open-water swimmers doing serious distances are more likely to get stung than people swimming."

hnews@herald.ie

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