Celebrating World Jellyfish Day: Tips and Trivia for Boaters

November 3rd, 2020, marks the 650 millionth celebration of World Jellyfish Day. Well, we’re not sure if they’ve been celebrating all this time, but that’s how long jellyfish are believed to have been present in the world’s oceans.

Unlike species that prefer to stay near the surface or the seafloor, jellyfish travel up and down the entire water column to feed on plankton. Jellyfish are invertebrates – and they aren’t technically fish – with no brain or central nervous system.

In certain environmental conditions, jellyfish gather in large groups called blooms, which can have significant effects on other aquatic life and even humans. In 2013, a Swedish nuclear power plant had to shut down because jellyfish clogged the cooling system!

Although only some jellyfish are harmful to humans, it’s important to follow a few basic tips when swimming or boating to avoid getting stung:

  • First, keep an eye out for reports of jellyfish blooms in your region. For example, this calendar shows when jellyfish are forecast to appear on Hawaiian beaches; they usually turn up around a week after the full moon.
  • Next, consider wearing a stinger suit while swimming or snorkeling. These are a must in some parts of the world, such as Australia, but can protect you from the most common types of jellyfish no matter where you are.
  • Finally, carry a jellyfish sting kit on your vessel. You can purchase sprays and creams that deactivate the venom, or use vinegar to clean the affected area. Avoid using ice, freshwater, urine, or baking soda.
  • If you have any trouble breathing or think you may have been stung by a box jellyfish, seek professional medical attention right away.

Jellyfish are some of the most beautiful creatures in the sea, with their strange shapes and colorful bodies. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to celebrate World Jellyfish Day safely – and appreciate them from a distance!




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