Jellyfish in our sea

ORANJESTAD - The Department of Nature and Environment (DNM) has been notified by many concerned citizens about unpleasant encounters with jellyfish.

The life cycle of JellyfishAfter a long period of drought and hot weather Aruba has finally received some rain. The weather conditions vary from day to day as the winds' direction changes constantly. These changes also cause the ocean’s currents to change direction bringing along different unusual animals in our surrounding waters.

Jellyfish are not protected by any laws. They are currently present in our territorial waters and can be found very close to the shores.

Eagle beachThe situation is nothing out of the ordinary; an abundance of jellyfish. It is the Jellyfish season. The life cycle of Jellyfish is very peculiar; when they are done reproducing, they release their eggs, shaped as a larva, and called “planula”. The larva sinks to the bottom and attaches to smooth rocks or any other structure on the bottom of the ocean and grows in the shape of a polyp (Sea anemone). These will at a certain point clone and bud into an “ephyra’. From this stage, they grow into a jellyfish. There are many types of jellyfish, some dangerous and some not. Since they are almost transparent underwater they are often not seen until they are too close to humans, with the consequence that they will eventually defend themselves from humans. They use their tentacles when they touch humans and sting multiple poisoned microneedles into your skin. This can cause harm to humans and depending on the type of jellyfish, can even be fatal.

The DNM urges everyone visiting the beaches during the coming days to handle with caution, as encounters with jellyfish is possible. Should you feel something strange of feel itching or skin becomes red, get out of the ocean as soon as possible to avoid more encounters. If treatment is needed seek medical help immediately.

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