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12° Nicosia,
18 June, 2024
 
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Cyprus coastlines awash with mesmerizing jellyfish spectacle

Cyprus swimmers warned of sting risks

Newsroom

The coastal waters of Cyprus have been graced with a mesmerizing spectacle as jellyfish sightings surge, captivating onlookers and prompting insights into their increased presence.

Photographers Loizos Loizou and Elena Grigore captured stunning images of jellyfish in the depths of Zenobia and Green Bay, located in Larnaca and Protaras respectively. Gianna Samuel, an officer in the Marine Environment sector at the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, shed light on this phenomenon, attributing it primarily to rising sea temperatures and overfishing of organisms such as salmon, swordfish, sharks, and even turtles, upon which jellyfish feed.

According to reports from the Fisheries Department, jellyfish have been spotted along the eastern and southern coasts of Cyprus, specifically in areas stretching from Protaras to Paralimni up to Vasiliko. Ms. Samuel noted that while various jellyfish species inhabit Cyprus waters, recent sightings primarily involve the nomadic jellyfish (Rhopilema nomadica), known for its painful stings ranging from irritation to burning sensations and swelling.

 
 

Characterized by a hemispherical-shaped body with tentacles bearing millions of nematocysts, the nomadic jellyfish poses risks to swimmers, particularly those with allergies. Ms. Samuel advised caution, recommending that individuals encountering jellyfish maintain a safe distance and avoid touching their tentacles.

In case of contact, the Fisheries Department advises immobilizing the affected area, removing tentacles with caution, and rinsing with seawater or vinegar to alleviate symptoms. Individuals with allergies are urged to seek medical attention promptly.

Despite the risks, some, like diving instructor Marios Athanasiou, find fascination in these marine creatures. He shared his experience, noting that jellyfish respond to gentle touch, advocating for responsible interaction with them.

The surge in jellyfish sightings serves as a reminder of the delicate balance of marine ecosystems and underscores the need for sustainable practices to preserve Cyprus's rich coastal biodiversity. As visitors and locals alike marvel at this natural wonder, authorities remain vigilant, providing guidance to ensure safety and awareness in coastal activities.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  jellyfish  |  animals  |  sea  |  coastal

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