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Seasons change but the Portuguese Man o War never do….

As the seasons and winds change in the U.S., the Portuguese Man o War begin to arrive in large numbers.

First of all, there are no real seasons for the Man o War, as such, but because of wind currents associated with season change and weather interruptions, the Man o War is on the leading edge of those winds since it has no propulsion system other than inflating it’s crown with gas and catching the wind.

man o war..beachedTx

What is typically recognized however, is the Man o War are, as a general rule, found along and around the Florida coast lines to Pensacola from late October thru February, the largest concentration generally in Nov and Feb.; the same as Costa Rica from March to May and to some degree the 10th day after every full moon in Hawaii. There is a long history of documenting these events so it is reasonable to believe these expectations every year.

Now, if you were stung by a Man o War, you were stung by an Atlantic Portuguese Man o’ War. There is no jellyfish specie known as a Man o’ War..A MOW is a siphonophore..a colony of 4 organisms..don’t have enough time and space to detail that ..there are 3 species of Man o War but all the same if that makes sense..the Atlantic, the recently acknowledge Pacific and the Blue Bottle Man o War..the Atlantic reported to have the nastiest sting but how would one compare them as all three are very painful. They differ in size with the Atlantic the largest and the blue bottle the smallest but don’t think for an instant that changes how nasty the stings are.

The indications that you have been stung by a Man O’ War are: Stinging, burning, redness, swelling of lymph nodes. You may see long welt lines. In some people sensitive to the Man O’ War venom, there may be severe reactions, including difficulty with breathing and cardiac arrest.

The sting toxin secreted from the tentacles is a neurotoxin about seventy-five percent as powerful as cobra venom. The welts can last for minutes to hours.

Studies on the effectiveness of meat tenderizer, baking soda, papain, or commercial sprays (containing aluminum sulfate and detergents) on nematocyst stings have been contradictory. It’s possible these substances cause further damage.

Check out our OCS Man o War sting 1st aid kit is specially designed to deliver medically proven, safe and effective sting relief from the MOW. Don’t get stung without it !!

ManOWar-kit

Jellyfish facts…Everything you need to know…

Jellyfish are categorized due to their characteristics. The different species of jellyfish are the Red Type which is also known as the ‘China type’ can be identified as Rhopilema esculentum. These jellyfish are slightly reddish with a 12-24 inch diameter smooth umbrella.

The jellyfish is a popular seafood in eastern and southern Asian nations where there is a high market demand that stimulates large-scale jellyfish production. Due to its economic importance in China, many biological studies have focused on the jellyfish Rhopilema esculentum Kishinouye in terms of the environmental impact of aquaculture activities and culture techniques. In recent years, the commercial aquaculture of R. esculentum has expanded greatly in China

Key Lab of Marine Environmental Science and Ecology, Ministry of Education, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, 266100, China
Photo..M Kawahara

Indo-Pacific Hell Fire Sea Anemone

Sea anemone facts….The Hell’s Fire Anemone (Actinodendron plumosum) belongs to the Actinodendron genus, and is one of the ‘stinging sea anemones’ in the Actinodendronidae family which are found only in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific.

Photo: Sea anemone facts....The Hell's Fire Anemone (Actinodendron plumosum) belongs to the Actinodendron genus, and is one of the 'stinging sea anemones' in the Actinodendronidae family which are found only in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific.

These anemones are so named 'stinging sea anemones' because of their capacity to sting humans badly. Although all anemones have stinging cells or nematocysts found in their tentacles, these anemones have a dangerous sting that is extremely powerful and is very painful. Another anemone from this group, the Bali Fire Anemone (Megalactis hemprichi), is similar in this regard and is also referred to as a Hell's Fire Anemone.

The Actinodendron genus is a unique group of anemones that are basically in a class all their own. They look more like colonies of soft corals than actinides. Typically they have busy, branched long tentacles. The Hell's Fire Anemone has tentacles with a leaf shaped or feather-like appearance, thus they are also known as the Pinnate Anemone. They bury their foot and body in the sand with only their oral disc and tentacles emerging. When disturbed they can retract their entire body into the sand and be virtually invisible.

Credit:Animal-World

These anemones are so named ‘stinging sea anemones’ because of their capacity to sting humans badly. Although all anemones have stinging cells or nematocysts found in their tentacles, these anemones have a dangerous sting that is extremely powerful and is very painful. Another anemone from this group, the Bali Fire Anemone (Megalactis hemprichi), is similar in this regard and is also referred to as a Hell’s Fire Anemone.

The Actinodendron genus is a unique group of anemones that are basically in a class all their own. They look more like colonies of soft corals than actinides. Typically they have busy, branched long tentacles. The Hell’s Fire Anemone has tentacles with a leaf shaped or feather-like appearance, thus they are also known as the Pinnate Anemone. They bury their foot and body in the sand with only their oral disc and tentacles emerging. When disturbed they can retract their entire body into the sand and be virtually invisible.

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OCS Jellyfish sting relief spray is tested effective on envenomations from sea anemone..Safe, effective and lidocaine free..Don’t get stung without it !!

Article Credit:Animal-World

 

 

 

 

Fire Coral..Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Although it can be quite painful, a sting from Fire coral is rarely dangerous unless accompanied by an allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock. In fact, the most serious effects seen after extensive stings are possible nausea and vomiting for two to three hours afterwards. The sting caused by these animals is a result of the injection of a water-soluble, heat affected, proteinaceous toxin. The discharged nematocysts cause small welts on the skin with red lesions around the raised areas. Swelling, blisters, and pus-filled encystations may occur soon after being stung. However, all symptoms generally disappear after 24 hours.

A digitate, or branched form of Millepora sp. on a protected shallow reef flat on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. This particular species has an extremely strong sting..

FireCoral-kit

 

OCS Fire Coral 1st aid kit available in Australia at www.diveapp.com and dive shops in the U.S…Safe and effective with everything you need to provide 1st aid pain relief..Don’t get stung without it!!

Photo by Eric Borneman courtesy of Reefkeeping

Australian Bull Ray….Stingray

The Australian bull ray has a disc that is wider than it is long. The snout is blunt with a skirt-shaped inter nasal flap as well as a single fleshy lobe that surrounds the snout and almost reaches the pectoral fins. The medium-sized eyes are located on the sides of the head and the spiracles are large. The pectoral fins which make up the “wings” of this ray originate below the eyes. The margins of the pectoral fins are deeply concave and the tips are highly angular. There is a small dorsal fin that originates over or just behind the pelvic fin rear tips and is anterior to the spine on the tail. The tail is elongate and whip-like and has a venomous stinging spine located just behind the dorsal fin.
Stingray first aid kits available through DFA, on line or at your favorite retail beach/dive shop…don’t get stung without it!!

Golden Stingray commonly found in the Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea…

The most common sting ray found in the Eastern Atlantic (North Sea, Baltic to Mauritania) as well as the Mediterranean and Black Sea is the Pastinaca or Golden Stingray. This ray has a rhomboid shaped disc with straight anterior margin and mildly convex posterior margin with a pointed snout and a small protrusion. Generally skittish about human intrusion but has proven tolerant while feeding. This ray is dangerous to swimmers and salt water sports fishermen to poisonous barbed spine.  Don’t forget the shuffle but if you do…

Stingray-kit

Stingray first aid kits available on line or at your favorite retail beach/dive shop…don’t get stung without it!!

 

 

Ocean Care Solutions new Lionfish Sting 1st Aid Kit expands company family of marine sting first aid products

Ocean Care Solutions is devoted to providing safe and effective marine sting first aid products for the consumer.  Our products have been tested true as each individual kit follows the medically accepted first aid protocol supported by life saving agencies, physicians and medical facility research groups worldwide.  Each kit has all the components necessary, with easy to follow instructions, to provide immediate 1st aid medical attention on a variety of marine stingers.  No matter what you pleasure at the ocean; sport fishing, surfing, scuba, distance swimming, snorkeling or just hangin’ out in the surf, always be prepared with Ocean Care Solutions first aid products….Available on line or select retailers…Ask for it by name..You’ll be glad your did !!

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Field use report from Galveston Island Beach Patrol/Park Board Police Dept

Over this past summer season, Ocean Care Solutions, Inc. provided Chief Peter Davis and supervising staff from the Galveston Island Beach Patrol/Park Board Police Dept. (www.galvestonbeachpatrol.com) with our Stingray and Man o War Sting First Aid Kits.

Here is the e mail OCS received from Chief Davis…

We did get to use the product quite a bit, although we used saline to wash the area as opposed to vinegar, thus following the recommendations of the USLA and medical protocols set by our medical director. People really seemed to respond well to it. They liked the packaging and the way it is a self contained treatment that they could potentially carry with them “just in case”.

Hope things are good with you. We had a fairly easy season as far as stings go, but enough for all of our supervisors to be able to use the product.

Take care,
Peter

Chief Peter Davis
Galveston Island Beach Patrol/Park Board Police Dept

Deadly Jellyfish Weapons Explained..COS Heidelberg University

Heidelberg researchers have succeeded in unravelling the defense mechanisms of jellyfish. Scientists working with Prof. Dr. Thomas Holstein and Dr. Suat Özbek from the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) of Heidelberg University, together with collaborators from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), analyzed the proteome, or full set of proteins, of the stinging cells in the freshwater polyp Hydra. The results of their research reveal a complex mixture of toxic and structural proteins that can explain the extraordinary toxicity and biophysical properties of these unique cells.

They also show how the energy for discharging the toxin can be stored in the stinging cells and released at extraordinary speed.  With their poison cells, jellyfish and other cnidarians have developed one of the most venomous and differentiated cellular mechanisms in the animal kingdom. Stinging cells, also known as nematocysts or cnidocysts, are found in the outer cell layer of cnidarians and are used for capturing prey or for defense. They consist mainly of a stinging capsule, a giant secretory vesicle. Inside this organelle a long, barbed tubule is coiled up, which turns inside out like the finger of a glove during discharge, thus releasing the deadly poison into the prey.

This mixture of previously unknown toxins paralyses the nervous system of the prey and destroys their cells. Injecting the toxins requires an effective mechanism. Studies have shown that the discharge of toxins is associated with an extremely high pressure of 15 megapascals, whereby the stylet, a thin barb, is able to penetrate even thick crustacean shells. The stylet is accelerated at a force of 5 million g in under 700 nanoseconds, making the discharge of toxins harpoon-like.

Up until now, the molecular components responsible for the biomechanical properties of these unique cellular weapons were largely unknown. The Heidelberg scientists used protein mass spectroscopy to study the cells of the Hydra magnipapillata freshwater polyp. The procedure afforded them a precise qualitative and quantitative analysis of the chemical composition of the substances, thus enabling them to map the nematocyst proteome of the Hydra. Prof. Holstein and Dr. Özbek’s research team were surprised at its complexity. The biologists discovered 410 proteins with venomous and lytic, but also adhesive or fibrous properties. The proteins of the stinging capsule wall contain hitherto unknown structural components that form a tissue-like matrix, a complex protein mesh. This structure of collagen and elastomers surpasses the elasticity and tensile strength of even spider’s silk.

These findings allow the Heidelberg researchers to explain how the energy for discharging the toxin can be stored in the stinging cells and then released from the elastic structure of the capsule wall in nanoseconds at an extraordinary speed.  “The poison cells of the cnidarians represent an effective combination of the powerful molecular spring mechanism and a structure with extreme biophysical properties,” says Holstein.

The studies also suggest that the organelles containing the injectable toxin have adopted the molecular properties of connective tissue proteins such as collagens during their development. According to Prof. Holstein, it was an unexpected solution in early evolution to develop such a sophisticated mechanism for prey capture and defense.

If you get stung, use Ocean Care Solutions Jellyfish Sting Relief spray…proven effective on a wide variety of jelly stings….Don’t get stung without it !!

Article courtesy of Evironmentail Protection/www.eponline.com

Jellyfish on the rise: UBC study

Jellyfish are increasing in the majority of the world’s coastal ecosystems, according to the first global study of jellyfish abundance by University of British Columbia researchers.

In a study published in this month’s edition of the journal Hydrobiologia, UBC scientists examined data for numerous species of jellyfish for 45 of the world’s 66 Large Marine Ecosystems. They found increasing jellyfish populations in 62 per cent of the regions analyzed, including East Asia, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the Northeast U.S. Shelf, Hawaii, and Antarctica.

“There has been anecdotal evidence that jellyfish were on the rise in recent decades, but there hasn’t been a global study that gathered together all the existing data until now,” says Lucas Brotz, a PhD student with the Sea Around Us Project at UBC and lead author of the study.

“Our study confirms these observations scientifically after analysis of available information from 1950 to the present for more than 138 different jellyfish populations around the world.”

Jellyfish directly interfere with many human activities – by stinging swimmers, clogging intakes of power plants, and interfering with fishing. Some species of jellyfish are now a food source in some parts of the world.

“By combining published scientific data with other unpublished data and observations, we could make this study truly global – and offer the best available scientific estimate of a phenomenon that has been widely discussed,” says Daniel Pauly, principal investigator of the Sea Around Us Project and co-author of the study. “We can also see that the places where we see rising numbers of jellyfish are often areas heavily impacted by humans, through pollution, overfishing, and warming waters.”

Map of population trends of native and invasive species of jellyfish by LME. Red: increase (high certainty); orange: increase (low certainty); green stable/variable; blue decrease, grey: no data. Circles represent jellyfish populations with relative sizes reflecting confidence in the data.

Pauly adds that increasing anecdotal reports of jellyfish abundance may have resulted from an expansion of human activities in marine habitats, so the study also provides a concrete baseline for future studies.

The study also notes decreases in jellyfish abundance in seven per cent of coastal regions, while the remainder of the marine ecosystems showed no obvious trend.

Article and data courtesy of Lucas Brotz, PhD student with the Sea Around Us Project at UBC and lead author of the study.