Watch out for the Bluefire jellyfish in Shoreham

Watch out for Bluefire jellyfish in Shoreham
Watch out for Bluefire jellyfish in Shoreham

PEOPLE in Shoreham have been warned to watch out for an unusual jellyfish, following sightings in the area.

A dog walker strolling on Lancing beach spotted a couple of indigo-coloured jellyfish in the shallows on Thursday evening.

Carol Thompson from Lancing spotted a couple of the indigo-coloured jellyfish while paddling in the sea with her dog at around 6.30pm.

She said: “I found this on the sand after coming out of the water, to be on the safe side.

“I’m no expert but think this may be a jellyfish commonly known as a Bluefire, so-called because of its colour and its sting.”

Steve Savage, regional co-ordinator at the Sea Watch Foundation, agreed it was a Bluefire.

He advised that because of the water currents along the coastline, it was quite possible the Bluefire jellyfish could come to Shoreham.

“Even a dead jellyfish can sting as the triggering of the stinging cells is a reflex,” he added.

He said it was hard to tell from the picture provided by Carol whether the jellyfish she saw on the sand was dead or alive.

Steve said he had never seen one before, and he believed it could be the first Sussex sighting of the unusual invertebrate.

“I don’t think the sting is serious, possibly as painful as a wasp sting,” he added.

The Bluefire jellyfish, with the scientific name Cyanea lamarcki, is usually found off the coast of Scotland, in the North Sea and in the Irish Sea, and can measure ten to 20cm across.

The deep violet colour that dominates the bell of this jellyfish is usually enough to be able to identify it.