Warning issued after jellyfish wash up in Yucatán, Mexico

The arrival of jellyfish is a natural phenomenon that takes place every year

Warning issued after jellyfish wash up in Yucatán, Mexico
A Portuguese man-of-war is shown on the beach – Photo: Matt Born/Wilmington Star-News,AP
English 11/08/2020 15:45 Mexico City Yazmìn Rodrìguez Actualizada 15:52
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The arrival of jellyfish at Yucatán’s Progreso port and other places of the Yucatán coast have caused alert among fishermen and the population regarding these marine organisms that can cause burns, rashes, and itching.

The warning regarding the jellyfish comes at the most critical stage of the coronavirus pandemic in Yucatán so going to the hospital over a minor incident, such as the infection caused by jellyfish would be highly complicated.

The arrival of the jellyfish is a natural phenomenon that takes place every year, however, fewer of them arrived this year compared to 2019.

The Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis) measures up to 10 meters long and cause burns, scratches, and intense itching.

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This kind of jellyfish is actually a colony of small marine organisms that live inside a sail-shaped gelatinous pouch that measures from 15 to 30 centimeters.

 Its bottom has thin filaments that measure up to 10 meters with stinging cells that cause a kind of burn and which they use to catch their prey and as a defense method.

“People known them as ‘agua mala’ in Yucatán and they can be seen floating like small sailing boats at the beach; they are groups of polyps with stinging properties, that is, they burn,” said Fernando Reyes, a marine biologist of the Autonomous University of Yucatán.

The Puerto Progreso Fishing Society at northern Yucatán, where there has been an increase of this species, published a series of measures to prevent contact with the jellyfish, including not taking them out of the sea, not hunting them, and making sure children do not touch them.

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In spite of the Summer season, there has been a significant reduction of the number of people at the Yucatán coasts due to the health emergency caused by COVID-19 in Mexico, so state officials are working on the extraction of the jellyfish.

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