Ruleo Camacho – The Jellyfish are here! We are starting to see the annual bloom of Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) in our waters.
The large amounts we see in the summer months are likely due to mass hatching that occurs during the warmer sea temperatures.
Moon Jellyfish feed on zooplankton and are considered passive opportunistic feeders as they can’t really swim (mostly drift with the current).
These jellyfish provide food for many organisms, including sea turtles and some fish (e.g. Ocean Sunfish).
The sting of Moon Jellyfish are very mild, and if you feel something, it’s typically less painful than a mosquito bite. You can safely move them with the palm of your hand, and you can swim through them with no issues!
If stung, rub the area with a wad of wet sand or a wet towel to remove the singing cells, and if necessary soothe with Aloe vera. Avoid scratching, as that triggers any remaining stinging cells on your skin.
Interesting fact: Moon Jellyfish populations are likely to increase as ocean health decreases, as they prefer warmer nutrient-rich waters. One more reason to keep our oceans clean and reduce the impacts of Climate Change!
Cover image credit Ruleo Camacho