« Archives in August, 2012

The Australian White spotted jellyfish found in the Gulf of Mexico

The White Spotted Jellyfish or Phyllorhiza punctata, is a native of Australia and is also known as the Australian spotted jellyfish. It grows to the size of about 45-50 centimeters in diameter, and is ocassionally known to grow to a maximum length of just a little over 60 centimeters in size. They look extremely beautiful with the design of white spots over their translucent gelatinous body and their frilly oral arms add another aspect of charm to their appearance. Additionally, they are fairly harmless and their sting contains only mild venom which does not cause any serious effect or reaction in humans.

This jellyfish is an eating machine filtering 13,200 gallons of sea water a day devouring plankton. The white spotted jellyfish has involuntarily migrated to the Gulf of Mexico. It is believed that the animal may have gotten trapped in the ballast tank of a marine vessel and got transported to the Gulf of Mexico where they can now be found in large numbers. The native marine species in the Gulf of Mexico are now beginning to face the problem of non availability of plankton due to the presence of the white spotted jellyfish.

Application of Ocean Care Solutions jellyfish sting relief spray can address the slight burning sensation that may be caused by the sting. The Solution for marine sting injuries…

 

Warning Over Portuguese Man-Of-War in the Mediterranean

Man o War in the Mediterranean…This wasn’t always the case..sadly, in 2010 a 69 year old woman was stung off the coast of Sardinia, collapsed and died after what was thought to have been anaphylactic shock. Marine experts said they believed the tragic event to be the first fatal case in the Mediterranean – although each year thousands of people are stung by jellyfish suffering mainly pain and discomfort. Always seek medical attention if you know you have been stung by a Man O War…look for signs of shortness of breath, weakness, nausea…allergic reaction causing anaphylaxis happens quick…Know what to look for…

 

The King Jellyfish…more commonly known as the Box Jellyfish

The jelly fish which has the most toxic venom is the box jelly fish. It is called the king jelly fish too. The box jellyfish is by far the most feared animal of the deep as it has been the cause of numerous deaths around the world. The deadliness of the creature is sometimes felt as over rated because of the small size of the jelly fish, but this should not fool anyone. The box jelly fish is a small animal compared to other jelly specimens.

Jellyfish Species Spotlight: King Jellyfish  picture

The poison in the nematocysts acts on the breathing muscles of the person. It numbs it, making it difficult for the person to breathe. This eventually leads to suffocation. Death is almost a certainty if the person is not given immediate medical attention. This is nothing when compared to the intense pain which is felt. This pain has been described as excruciating and unbearable almost every time it has been recorded. This is what scares people.

The box jelly fish is also an expert at camouflage. It is transparent and blue in color, so in shallow waters, the animal becomes very difficult to see. The nematocysts are also very difficult to remove which, once lodged into the skin, require some expertise to remove. The box jellyfish makes up for its very small size very well with its intense poison and its ability to blend in with its environment.  Recommendations indicate 5% acetic acid to flush the wound but even so, it is very important to get the patient immediate medical attention. The chances of the person losing their life is very real.

 

What you need to know about Cnidaria phylum; the stinging family of jellies

They have several different basic morphologies that represent several different cnidarian classes including the Scyphozoa (about 200 species), Staurozoa (about 50 species), Cubozoa (about 20 species), and Hydrozoa (about 1000-1500 species that make jellyfish and many more that do not). The jellyfish in these groups are also called, respectively, scyphomedusae, stauromedusae, cubomedusae, and hydromedusae; “medusa” (plural “medusae”) is another word for jellyfish. Jellyfish are found in every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea. Some hydrozoan jellyfish, or hydromedusae, are also found in fresh water.

Jellyfish don’t have specialized digestive, osmoregulatory, central nervous, respiratory, or circulatory systems. They digest using the gastrodermal lining of the gastrovascular cavity, where nutrients are absorbed. They do not need a respiratory system since their skin is thin enough that the body is oxygenated by diffusion. They have limited control over movement, but can use their hydrostatic skeleton accomplish movement through contraction-pulsations of the bell-like body; some species actively swim most of the time, while others are passive much of the time. Jellyfish are composed of more than 90% water; most of their umbrella mass is a gelatinous material – the jelly – called mesoglea which is surrounded by two layers of epithelial cells which form the exumbrella (top surface) and subumbrella (bottom surface) of the bell, or body.

Jellyfish do not have a brain or central nervous system, but rather have a loose network of nerves, located in the epidermis, which is called a “nerve net”. A jellyfish detects various stimuli including the touch of other animals via this nerve net, which then transmits impulses both throughout the nerve net and around a circular nerve ring, through the rhopalial lappet, located at the rim of the jellyfish body, to other nerve cells. Some jellyfish also have ocelli: light-sensitive organs that do not form images but which can detect light, and are used to determine up from down, responding to sunlight shining on the water’s surface.

As I’ve said, Jellyfish has no bones, brains, head, heart, eyes, nor ears. But what a sting! The sting of some “jellies,” can be deadly while others are harmless to humans. Jellyfish are not fish at all. They are invertebrates, relatives of corals and sea anemones.  Here’s what to do….

1st…Don’t get stung but if you do…

A jellyfish fires its poison whenever its tentacles brush against an object. In humans, the poison usually causes a sharp, burning sensation that may last from minutes to hours.

1. Take note of jellyfish warning signs posted on the beach.

2. Be careful around jellies washed up on the sand. Some still sting if their tentacles are wet. Tentacles torn off a jelly can sting, too.

3. If you are stung, wash the wound with salt water only (DO NOT USE FRESH WATER as this can release additional toxins) then apply Ocean Care Solutions 5% acetic acid spray or vinegar..OCS spray being more effective.

4. Lifeguards usually give first aid for stings. See a doctor if you have an allergic reaction.

All jellies sting, but not all jellies have poison that hurts humans. Of the 2,000 species of jellyfish, only about 70 seriously harm or occasionally kill people. Listed below are the more dangerous jellies and where you can find—and avoid—them.

Lion’s mane

Atlantic Ocean from above the Arctic Circle to Florida; Gulf of Mexico; Pacific Ocean from Alaska to southern California

Portuguese man-of-war

Gulf of Mexico; Caribbean Sea near the Bahamas; West Indies; Mediterranean and the North Sea

Sea nettle

Chesapeake Bay; Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Southern California; Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Florida; Gulf of Mexico

Sea wasp

Pacific Ocean near northern Australia, Philippines

Always have Ocean Care Solutions First Aid Kits and Certified 5% acetic acid jellyfish sting first aid lotion on hand..

Don’t get stung without it!

Barnegat Bay jellyfish spreading south

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Article by Kirk Moore courtesy of Asbury Park Press…www.app.com  A Gannett Company

Stinging sea nettle jellyfish have spread to the southern reaches of Barnegat Bay, likely the result of a huge surge of jellyfish spawning during their 2011 population explosion, say scientists who are tracking the gelatinous animals again this summer.

“Last year was a banner year for these guys. I’m guessing the larval delivery was huge,” said professor Paul Bologna, the director of aquatic and coastal sciences at Montclair State University. This summer, Bologna got a call from a lagoon resident near the Route 72 causeway toward the bay’s southern end, asking him to identify a jellyfish.

Bologna and his colleague, professor John Gaynor, went to investigate the area.

“We went in and there’s thousands of them in the lagoon. But none in the bay,” he said. So far this summer, researchers know the jellyfish are as far south as Manahawkin in Stafford and have been reported just south of Waretown and the bay side of Harvey Cedars on Long Beach Island, Bologna said.

That means the sea nettles vaulted what had been thought of as a barrier — the saltier, better-flushed central bay inside Barnegat Inlet. But it’s apparent “the salinity really isn’t the limiting factor,” Bologna said.

The new sightings come on the heels of a grim Rutgers University report that says the bay’s ecological decline has spread south since the 1990s, as measured by a suite of indicators for water quality and environmental health, such as declining clams and underwater eelgrass beds.

While the southward advance is alarming, jellyfish conditions in the bay’s north end are not so severe as 2011, although people still should check it out before diving off a boat.

“This year in the northern part of the bay, they’re considerably less,” said Bologna, who with Gaynor and students measures the density of the swarms. Typical blooms in places like Kettle Creek and the Metedeconk River this year show one or two sea nettles per cubic meter (about a cubic yard) of water, compared to counts as high as 30 in 2011, he said.

Montclair State College professor Paul Bologna examines a stinging nettle that was acquired in the Toms River .

Montclair State College professor Paul Bologna examines a stinging nettle that was acquired in the Toms River . / THOMAS P. COSTELLO/staff photographer

“Last year was unbelievable,” said John Petrillo, director of youth sailing at the Bay Head Yacht Club, the biggest program on the bay with 167 students. “This summer, I haven’t treated any kids (for stings), which is unusual.”

Sea nettles have infested the bay’s northern end since at least 2004, when the first big summer swarms were seen, and can make some areas unswimmable for most of the summer. It’s uncertain why their numbers exploded, but Bologna has identified likely factors, ranging from the bay’s changing ecological conditions to the use of plastic in docks, which is an ideal surface for sea nettles in their polyp stage.

Sea nettle larvae settle on those surfaces and change into polyps, which bud off to create more of themselves. That kind of exponential reproduction is probably what’s populating the newly infested lagoons, Bologna said.

The bay’s north end is adjacent to Ocean County population centers and takes the brunt of nutrient pollution from stormwater runoff. Jellyfish can do well in those waters because they can tolerate the low-oxygen conditions that result from high temperatures and rotting algae blooms in summer, Bologna said.

Those conditions are common in lagoons with little flow or tidal flushing, so that could be why jellyfish in the south are in lagoons but not so much the open bay, he said.

Tidal flushing doesn’t do much for either end of the bay far from Barnegat Inlet, Bologna said. “It’s like an accordion. It squeezes the middle.”

Bologna said waterfront residents can report jellyfish sightings to the project by emailing him at bolognap@mail.montclair.edu

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Studies indicate more potent jellyfish in Queensland & Northern Territory

box jellyfish
Article courtesy of www.news.com.au
Researchers have found that jellyfish in the Northern Territory and Queensland appear to produce venom that is more potent than the same species in other parts of Australia. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

WHETHER big or small, there’s a significant sting in the jellyfish lurking in northern Australian waters.

And studies suggest some jellyfish in Queensland and the Northern Territory produce venom that is more potent than the same species in other parts of Australia.

Emergency physician and toxicologist Dr Mark Little, from Cairns Base Hospital, said researchers had found differences in the venom of box jellyfish collected around the country.

Most deaths from box jellyfish stings – there have been about 70 since records began – have occurred in Queensland and the NT, although the species is also found in Western Australia.

And size does matter.

Dr Little said the box jellyfish become more dangerous when the bell reached a diameter of six to eight centimetres.

At this size, the number of stinging cells containing lethal venom increases.

“It looks like the size of the jellyfish matters,” Dr Little told AAP.

Intriguingly, the change coincides with an alteration in the box jellyfish diet from prawns to fish, switching from devouring invertebrates to vertebrates.

The knowledge could enable researchers to pinpoint when the jellyfish, which appears to be more deadly to children, is more likely to be lethal, Dr Little said.

Although antivenom is available to treat box jellyfish stings, which result in painful welts and rashes, it may not adequately treat every patient due to the variations in venom.

But the sting of the decent-sized box jellyfish pales in comparison to the thumbnail-sized irukandji.

Victims are unmarked by this tiny jellyfish, but several hours after being stung they thrash about with severe back and kidney pain comparable to the agony of labour, Dr Little said.

Often, huge doses of morphine – between 30g to 40g – are needed to relieve the excruciating pain, he said.

The venom can lead to heart failure and bleeding in the brain, which has caused the deaths of two middle-aged male tourists in the past 10 years.

The only treatment for irukandji stings is pain relief, which is why researchers have been trying to develop a more effective therapy.

One recommended approach uses magnesium, but when Cairns researchers tested it on about 20 people and compared it in a placebo-controlled trial, the results were negative.

Dr Little, who will discuss the two jellyfish at the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Winter Symposium in Cairns on Sunday, said the small study size or dose used may have been responsible for the lack of results.

One thing’s certain – Dr Little knows which jellyfish he’d prefer to tangle with.

“I’d prefer not to get stung, but if I got stung I’d want to get stung by a box jellyfish,” he said.

“It’s nowhere near as painful.”

Black Jellyfish Return to San Diego Shores..

Black Jellyfish Return to SD Shores

Did you see an ominous creature last time you went to the beach? You’re not the only one. Turns out black jellyfish have returned to San Diego’s shoreline.

The gooey, dark purple sea nettles have made an appearance at various beaches throughout the county, including Coronado and Encinitas. Black jellyfish are exclusively witnessed along the California coast.

Black jellyfish have only been seen in San Diego four times in the last 10 years, said executive director of Living Coast Discovery Center Dr. Brian Joseph.

“They’re unusual animals in San Diego and they appear here every few years,” he said. “They’re a relatively unknown species.”

The elusive animal has only been seen four times since 2002 and the last time they were in San Diego was two years ago, said Joseph.

He said he’s not sure why the jellyfish have been showing up along the San Diego coastline this summer, but he speculates part of the reason is the water.

“Jellyfish seem to proliferate in areas with bad water quality where you have low oxygen levels,” he said. “It reflects that the water quality is deteriorating….It doesn’t mean it’s unsafe to us, but there’s subtle differences that favor jellyfish and don’t favor other life forms.

Black jellyfish can grow up to three feet wide, with tentacles spanning 10 feet long. And you might want to watch out for those dark-colored tentacles.

“These guys will deliver a painful sting,” said Joseph.

He recommends using vinegar to wash out a black jellyfish wound, and use something to scrape the tentacle off as rubbing it will cause more toxins to be injected.

Even though the black sea nettles aren’t incredibly toxic, they aren’t jellies to be messed with.

“Inside their tentacles there’s a coiled spring with a barb on the end of it, it’s very much like a taser that police use, only it injects venom,” Joseph said.

People can now have an up-close look at the mysterious creatures without suffering a sting. The Living Coast Discovery Center has managed to place a few of the jellies in tanks for observation.

“Jellyfish are a fascinating species.” Joseph said. “They’re also fascinating because they’re dangerous and they need to be respected for that.”

Source: Black Jellyfish Return to SD Shores | NBC 7 San Diego  Photo by Mark Leimbach

Jellyfish Growth May Be Warning Sign

Reported population increase could point to imbalance in the ocean environment

Written by Mike Lee www.utsandiego.com)

Legions of local swimmers have learned a painful lesson about avoiding black jellyfish that are surfacing from Imperial Beach to Oceanside this summer in what has become something of a regular occurrence for the once-rare creatures.

But scientists say the billowy umbrellas may be teaching us a more profound lesson about the declining state of the world’s oceans. The combination of warmer waters, global overfishing of jellyfish predators and other factors have created what some researchers have dubbed a “more gelatinous future.”

Studies suggest that a transition toward slime-filled waters is already under way in places such as the Bering Sea, the Irish Sea and the Sea of Japan, which was invaded by millions of giant jellies last year. Consequences go far beyond the discomfort felt by stung beachgoers: Overwhelming numbers of jellyfish have reportedly clogged power station water intakes, poisoned fish and even sunk a 10-ton vessel by weighing down its nets until the boat capsized.

“I guess you would say that jellyfish are an indicator — the more you see, the more you could suspect that something was out of balance in the environment,” said Brian Joseph, executive director of the Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista.

“Jellyfish are interesting in that they are increasing in numbers very much like the Humboldt squid — and that is not necessarily a good thing,” he said. “Jellyfish have adaptations that allow them to be successful in environments where fish aren’t. They have a wider tolerance for water conditions than some of the species that are commercially important to us.”

The center recently acquired more than a dozen of the black sea nettles — another name for the black jellyfish — in San Diego Bay and has them on display. A handful of other species are common in local waters, including the well-known moon variety. Aquarists said there’s no noticeable jump in the overall numbers of jellyfish this year compared with the recent past. But there was at least one painful pulse of them in mid-July, when lifeguards reported 160 jellyfish stings at Torrey Pines, Leucadia and Encinitas on a single day.

A 2010 study by researchers in the United Kingdom said jellyfish grew more abundant in the Irish Sea between 1994 and 2009, a phenomenon linked to increased sea temperatures, which in turn have been linked to climate change. A separate study several years earlier also found “evidence for a substantial increase in gelatinous zooplankton in the Bering Sea,” with a possible connection to global warming.

Jellywatch.org, created with support from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, allows scientists and laymen to track jellyfish sightings worldwide with an interactive map. It says jellyfish are an important component of oceanic food webs, and it noted reports that jellyfish have increased their territory and shifted their distributions globally in recent decades.

“Undoubtedly, there are associated ecological ramifications such as food web … alterations,” said the group’s website. “Socio-economic impacts include damage to fisheries, industry and tourism. However, reports have remained local in scope, and scientists agree that a composite understanding of the extent of the problem is still lacking.”

Steven Haddock, a researcher at the Monterey Bay institute, helped to establish the online tracking site two years ago, and said it has helped to document the movement of jelly species beyond their known ranges and to watch blooms spread in real time.

“We are just trying to get this global picture,” he said, noting the difficulty detecting large-scale changes against the backdrop of annual variation and decadal cycles.

For now, at least, he’s skeptical about the prevailing narrative about the increase in jellyfish due to climate change, saying many reports about the creatures could be driven mainly by technology.

“In the age of Twitter and Flickr, you just have so many more mechanisms for hearing about a jellyfish bloom,” he said. “Maybe they are increasing. Maybe they are not. We don’t really know.”

San Diego’s black jellies were identified as a separate species in 1997, making them what Living Coast called the largest invertebrate discovered in the 20th century. They are only known to inhabit marine waters between Monterey Bay in the north and Mexico in the south. They turned up in large numbers two summers ago and wowed beach visitors again this year.

Nigella Hillgarth, executive director of the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, said the black jellies have been showing up along the county coastline since June.

“They have started to have an annual bloom,” she said. “I remember 10 years ago they were incredibly rare.”

She figures they come from Baja in deep water and they feed on the algae offshore — but what determines their local appearance at a given time remains unclear. They tend to gain the attention of beachgoers only when large numbers of them are washed into the shallows by wind and waves.

Hillgarth said the current bloom should taper off over the next few weeks, because she’s not seeing any young jellies. Most local specimens are reportedly about the size of a dinner plate, with tentacles 1 to 3 feet long.

“We know very little about them,” said Hillgarth, whose aquarium also has black jellies on display. “There is still a big mystery about where they are most of the time.”

Ocean Care Solutions, Inc. Partners with Endurance Waterman & Ocean Advocate, Bruckner Chase

Association with the open water swimming community helps guide company in providing safe and effective jellyfish and marine sting first aid products.

Quote startStung in the face by a Lion’s Mane last week in Dublin Ireland, I used your OCS sting relief spray and within an hour the pain was gone!Quote end

Ocean City, NJ (PRWEB) August 03, 2012

Ocean Care Solutions, specializing in State of the Art Marine Life First Aid Kits and jellyfish sting relief solutions, works in concert with U.S., Asian and European swimming associations along with world class competitors to test and provide the latest, most comprehensively effective sting relief aid possible to keep participants in the water. Which began the journey that brought Ocean Care Solutions and Bruckner Chase together.

In 2010, Chase embarked on a 25-mile solo swim to connect Santa Cruz to Monterey while also connecting those on land with the waters of Monterey Bay. Those twenty-five miles became an epic fourteen-hour journey during which Bruckner encountered massive jellyfish blooms, huge pods of dolphins, blue whales, white-capped swells; witnessed the setting moon over the sea and the sunrise over the mountains. The swim was a test of physical and emotional fortitude for Chase which became a calling to educate the global society about earth’s oceans.

Soon after, with intense national interest, Chase formed the non-profit company, Bruckner Chase Ocean Positive, Inc. (http://oceanpositive.org/projects.html) with a global vision and mission, “to positively impact how we feel, think and act towards our oceans.” The goal is to utilize extreme ocean endurance adventures and exciting aquatic initiatives to bring discovery and personal connection to earth’s oceans. Chase followed with an historic solo long-distance swim from Aunu’u Island to Pago Pago Harbor in American Samoa which forever joined the swimmer to the community through a Matai title, Uila o le Sami, bestowed by the island of Aunu’u, along with his wife Michelle, developed the Bruckner Chase Toa o le TaiÔ youth ocean heroes program to improve the ocean swimming proficiency where, surprisingly, there are an alarming number of regional drownings as well as teach conservation awareness. For their efforts, the American Samoa Department of Education created a groundbreaking open water swimming class at Samoana High School highlighting ocean swimming and sciences.

In 2012, Bruckner and his wife Michelle, moving their initiatives to a larger global scale, developed a unique outreach and funding campaign called the Legion of Ocean Heroes. The L.O.H. (http://www.brucknerchase.com/Legion_of_Ocean_Heroes.html) is comprised of patrons who help support and fund Chase in aiding under served communities in American Samoa in addition to other global programs. “Patronage of the L.O.H. allows me the opportunity to reach out to poor communities in American Samoa , serve global programs like Special Olympics or help with initiatives by small groups in the US or abroad,” said Chase. At the end of 2011 the couple was awarded a prestigious National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Hollings Grant for their 2012 expedition and film project, 2 Samoas/1 Ocean that includes regional swims highlighting the unique historical and cultural connection between American Samoa and Western Samoa.

Ocean Care Solutions continues to develop and perfect their trademark jellyfish sting relief formula as well as a Portuguese Man o War, Stingray, Sea Urchin and Fire Coral First Aid sting kits. “The more we became involved with field tests, the more we learned how to address marine sting first aid,” according to Kevin Freeman, CEO of Ocean Care Solutions. “We owe a great deal of our marine sting understanding to the open water swimming community, Lifeguard units from around the country and our own willingness to absorb self inflicted jelly stings to know our product is effective,” says Freeman. “Our company would not exist if it weren’t for the support of marine biologists, toxic emergency medical professionals and medical and scientific marine sting research journals dating back to 1984. But in the end, it was our association with the open water swimming community that guided us to find the safest and, we believe, most effective jellyfish sting first aid product,” continued Freeman.

“We knew we needed to be part of Bruckner’s vision right away. We have known about Bruckner and his legendary swims for years so we are very excited to have a supporting role his Ocean Positive and L.O.H. organizations, continued Freeman. One major reason why Ocean Care Solutions marine sting products have become so necessary is because, quite simply, more people are recreating by and swimming in the oceans up and down the East Coast, West Coast and Gulf Coast regions while, at the same time, a substantial number of stinging creatures are swimming or being blown towards shore, creating an impact zone for the unwary swimmer. While the majority of beach and ocean goers don’t get stung most of the time, those that do have an unfortunate run in with a marine stinger never forget the experience. And because the sport of open water swimming is exploding like no other, these encounters are growing year by year.

While jellyfish and marine stings should not pose a problem for the competitors in the 2012 Olympics, Ocean Care Solutions, Inc. products are becoming more of an integral part in providing marine sting first aid for world class swimmers like Bruckner Chase.

Jellyfish stings increase in Southern California

Jellyfish

Shark attacks aren’t the only things beach goers have to worry about. Jellyfish stings can be painful and really ruin a vacation.(Photo : Reuters)

If you are planning to spend your next vacation on the shores of Southern California this summer, be careful, because giant killer sharks are not the only dangers you’ll face out there.

California lifeguards have seen a noteworthy increase in the number of jellyfish stings on the ocean side in the month of July. According to reports, more than 135 people were stung by jellyfish in a single day in Encinitas.

The increase in the number of Black Sea Nettle and Purple Stripe Jellyfish in the San Diego area are due to the warmer waters of southern currents, officials have said.

In December 2010, a giant Black Sea Nettle jellyfish first appeared along the California coastline. It’s appearance opened the debate about the origin of the creature and questions of where it came from. Black jellyfish can grow up to 3-feet wide with trailing tentacles that are 30-feet long.

Ocean Care Solutions 5% acetic acid Jellyfish Sting Relief is proven effective for a variety of stinging jellies including the animals now found on SoCal beaches..Don’t get Stung without it !!

Article courtesy of www.travelerstoday.com