Look out for Portuguese man o'war at Milford and New Forest beaches

Look out for Portugeuse man o'war on South Coast beaches.

Take care on the beach and report any sightings to the Marine Conservation Society.

 Portuguese Man o'war Marine Conservation Society

This Autumn, beaches across the South of England, including Milford-on-Sea, have been invaded by dangerous jellyfish. The Marine Conservation Society has issued warnings that Portugeuse man o' war ( (Physalia physalis) can deliger a powerful sting and should not be touched. Sea swimmers are advised to wear full body suits to protect themselves, while parents taking children to the beach are warned to exercise extreme caution.

Recent hurricanes and extreme weather conditions have washed up to our shores the biggest concentration of Portugugese man o’war since 2012! Usually sighted only occasionally in UK waters, this is the second consecutive year they have turned up in numbers. 

The Portuguese Man o’ War isn’t a jellyfish but is closely related, and consists of a floating colony of hydrozoans – several tiny marine organisms living together and behaving collectively as if one animal. A purple float, shaped a little like a Cornish pasty, is visible on the water’s surface whilst blue, tentacle-like ‘fishing polyps’ hang below; these can be tens of metres in length. The tentacles can deliver painful and even fatal stings. They look like deflated balloons with blue ribbons attached on sand and in shallow water.

If you’re visiting beaches in the South or South West of England in the next few weeks make sure you know what these animals look like and that no one picks them up. Report any sightings of Portuguese man o’ war to the Marine Conservation Society so they can get a better idea of the extent of the strandings.

Contact the Marine Conservation Society here.

 

 

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