beachgoers warned of Portuguese Man O'War
Berrow and Brean beach users have this week been warned to look
out for Portuguese Man OWar being washed up.
have been urged by The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) not to
touch the stinging jellyfish-like creatures if they find them.
comes after the charity has received several reports in the last
week of Portuguese Man O'War washing up on beaches in the south
west, including in the Bristol Channel.
Peter Richardson, MCS Head of Ocean Recovery, told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"Portuguese Man O'War are ocean-going animals, propelled by
the wind on their inflatable sail as they fish the depths with their
stinging tentacles. Recent persistent winds have blown them from
the Atlantic onto our shores."
stings can be unbelievably painful and in rare cases, fatal. Wed
like people to report any sightings of Portuguese Man O'War to us
so we get a better idea of the extent of the strandings."
Man O'War are only occasionally reported in UK waters, but this
is the second consecutive year they have turned up in numbers.
year they were spotted in September on beaches in the South West
UK, with significant strandings of the species also reported in
in 2009 and 2012.
Portuguese Man O'War isnt 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," he added.
purple float, shaped a little like a Cornish pasty, is visible on
the waters surface whilst blue, tentacle-like fishing
polyps hang below; these can be tens of metres in length."
the tentacle-like polyps that can give an agonising and potentially
a stranded Portuguese Man O'War looks a bit like a deflating purple
balloon with blue ribbons attached, children will find it fascinating.
So, if youre visiting local beaches in the next few weeks
its well worth making sure you know what these animals look
like and that no one picks them up."
you spot a Portuguese Man O'War then report the sighting immediately,
with a picture, to us at Burnham-On-Sea.com and also at www.mcsuk.org.