Going to the beach? Watch out for poisonous jellyfish.

Merge 104.8  |  23 January 2020

Residents and visitors around the coast of Dhofar are being warned to stay vigilant for venomous jellyfish while in the sea or walking along the beach.

The jellyfish-like species called the Portuguese Man O’ War (also known as the ‘Man of War’ or ‘Blue Bottle’) have been found in the waters between Al Mughassil Beach in Salalah and Taqah Beach. They can be identified by their transparent blue colour and have (on average) 1.5m long tentacles. Due to its colour, the species is hard to identify in the water.

The Fisheries Research Center in the Dhofar Governorate affiliated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries reported that the spread of this organism was recorded for the first time in the Sultanate.

Reports show that the species  has spread in large numbers, but is less toxic than other species that are spread across Atlantic Ocean. You can find out more here.

Jellyfish can deliver painful and potentially life-threatening stings. Here’s what to do:

  • Remove the victim from the water. While some people are allergic to venom, the main risk comes from drowning.
  • Seek emergency aid if the victim is having trouble breathing.
    For simple stings, use a shell or credit card to remove any tentacles clinging to skin.
  • Vinegar is the most common chemical used to deactivate the stinging cells. While it’s fine to use salt water to rinse the area, fresh water should be avoided because it can cause stinging cells to release venom all at once.

It’s best to avoid jellyfish. Tentacles from dead animals can still sting!