Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cocoa Beach Jellyfish Report March 2017

Portuguese Man-of-War

March 22 Update: Jelly fish, including Portuguese Man-of-War, are no longer present along the beaches or in the water.

COCOA BEACH, Florida - Portuguese Man-of-War that have washed up along Brevard County beaches over the last few days are stinging unsuspecting Spring Breakers. 


An extended period of strong easterly winds have been blowing the Portuguese Man-of-War jelly fish onto the popular tourist beaches just when Spring Break 2017 peaks. 


Cocoa Beach Jellyfish Forecast


According to the National Weather Service, strong easterly and southeasterly winds will continue today and Tuesday. So, there will be a strong chance that Portuguese Man-of-War will remain on Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral beaches through at least Thursday.


How To Identify Portuguese Man-of-War


The Portuguese Man-of-War can be identified from other jellyfish in Florida by its translucent blue and purple gas-filled air sac that helps them travel long distances across the ocean by acting as a wind-driven sail (technically, Portuguese Man-of-War aren't jellyfish but are instead a colony of small organisms called Siphonophorae).  

A violet-colored stinging tentacle cluster mass under the body can have tentacles that may extend up to ten or fifteen feet. These stinging, venom-filled tentacles are designed to paralyze small fish but can also deliver a powerful sting to humans who wade into the water or play on the beach.


Study: You're Treating Jellyfish Stings All Wrong