TEAMS of fishermen are working to clear jellyfish from the sea off the beaches of Gandia (La Safor, Valencia Province).

The yearly contract has once again been signed between the council and the local fishermen’s guild to patrol the coast of the district capital from this week and until September 12 to ‘fish out’ the creatures before they reach the shore and pose a threat to bathers.

In addition to providing a service for beachgoers, the campaign also provides extra work and income for 16 fleets that are struggling to recover from the coronavirus crisis.

Jellyfish are a yearly headache for residents, visitors and authorities alike, with increasingly warmer sea temperatures prompting greater numbers of all different species to arrive to the Valencian coast.

Earlier this year, in April, the alarm was raised when thousands of creatures that closely resembled the dreaded – and sometimes fatal –  Portuguese man o’ war were washed up onto the sand of Valencia Province.

Jellyfish Gandia
Photo by Cordon Press

However, upon closer inspection, they turned out to be Velella or sea raft jellyfish – totally harmless to humans and which frequently visit our coasts in the spring.

However, these are just one of many different types that are frequently found in the area and which make La Safor district one of the most ‘popular’ spots for these creatures.

The most common symptoms of a jellyfish sting include the obvious skin irritation and a red, lumpy mark where the tentacles came into contact with the bather, which usually disappear after a few days with an antihistamine treatment or even with salt water washes.

However, depending on the species and the victim’s reaction to the sting, more serious complications could develop and swimmers are strongly advised to seek immediate assistance and information from the coastguard upon being stung.

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