MARINE experts in the fishing town of Rincon de la Victoria have warned of a possible invasion of 30 kilogram jellyfish after a number of examples have washed up in recent days.
Fears arose after a sighting on the Torre de Benagalbon beach of a metre wide jellyfish washed up on the sand.
The Environmental Association of Rincon AMR, in collaboration with the University of Malaga has set about conducting tests on the species.
According to president of the association, Jose Canas, the group fears that the species is of the Rhopilema nomadica family, a large poisonous jellyfish that originates from the Red Sea and which has rarely been spotted in Malaga waters.
“This specific species poses a huge threat to both tourism and fishing in the area thanks to it’s potent sting,” said Canas.
“In Israel, where the type originates, a plague of this type of jellyfish caused a loss of over 25% in the fishing sector thanks to its ability to kill any fish that comes into contact.”
Canas went on to explain that a second example was spotted floating a short distance off the coast of Rincon, surrounded by a group of Mackerel that had been caught in its stingers.
AMR are also investigating whether the jellyfish is the very similar, but far less dangerous lupea rhizostoma.
“Right now we must remain calm, but the presence of numerous examples could lead to a large number entering Malaga waters very soon,” added Canas.
The expert has urged the Rincon council to look into preventative measures to ensure the protection of the beach area, however a spokesperson from the council insists that they have not been made aware of any threat.
Rhopilema nomadica has been found in Mediterranean waters since the 70s and has been classed as one of Europe’s most invasive species.
Rhizostoma type jellyfish, more commonly known as ‘Barrel Jellyfish’ houses a much less potent sting, and is commonly found in British and Irish waters.