Late last month, officials put out a warning to anyone in the Jersey Shore area to watch out for toxic jellyfish if they were heading to the beach.
Wildlife officials say there are invasive toxic jellyfish in the area and where there is one, there is many. And, unfortunately these jellyfish can be extremely difficult to spot since they resemble small clinging spiders.
Since 2016, these invasive jellyfish have been spreading from the Shrewsbury River to the Mantoloking Bridge. Montclair State University staff are working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to learn more about the species. Elias Chalet, a biology major, had this to say, “we just pulled algae and what we’re trying to look for in something called clinging jellyfish. The reason we’re trying to look for it is because they have a very lethal toxin.” His professor, Paul Bologna, says, “ they carry these paralysis toxins that cause your muscles to tense up. They use those to catch fish so the fish don’t run away, but it also causes intense pain.”
Officials are concerned about possible interactions with beachgoers. A Brick councilmember, Paul Mummolo, said, “A lot of our beaches, our bay beaches, it is important to educate the people on these clinging jellyfish about where they are so that something doesn’t happen.”
If you are in the New Jersey area, then please be careful with your next dip at the beach.