Thousands of dead Bluebottle jellyfish found along Puri coast

Puri: Barely two months after the carcasses of whales and Olive Ridley sea turtles were found along the coastal pockets in Puri district, thousands of carcasses of Bluebottle jellyfish are seen lying along the Puri, Chandrabhaga and Astarang coasts over the last two three days.

Bichitrananda Biswal, a local resident of Astarang and an environmental service worker, said earlier carcasses of only Olive Ridley turtles and whales were found along the coast of Puri district. Now, carcasses of jellyfish are also found along this coast.

“I feel that climate change and rise in temperature could be the reason of the massive death of these marine species. Lack of adequate food could also be a possible reason. Proper scientific investigation is needed to determine the exact cause of their death,” he pointed out.

Another environmental service worker of Astarang area, Sisirkant Biswal said generally these Bluebottle jellyfish come to the Odisha coast in small numbers during the arrival of the Olive Ridley turtles. These marine species always stay in the water.

“Usually we find carcasses of these jellyfish in small numbers. But this year, these species have died in massive numbers,” he added.

Talking to OTV, Debendra Kumar Behera, Additional Marine Fisheries Officer, said usually Bluebottle jellyfish prefer hot climate zones like the Gulf coast, Mediterranean coast and South America coast as their habitat. “May be due to rise in temperature in the Pacific Ocean, they have come to the Puri coast,” he said.

“Besides, these jellyfish, which feed on fish and prawn eggs and plankton, might not have enough food in the Bay of Bengal which has resulted in their death,” he observed.

Behera said the death of these species might also be due to polluted sea waters.

It is also possible that these jellyfish might have drifted to the Odisha coast by the seawater after their death in the sea, he added.

Behera said that his department has asked the people not to touch the dead jellyfish as their tentacles can cause a sharp, painful sting if they are touched, which is aggravated when the stung area is rubbed.

“The person may undergo excruciating pain from a few minutes to many hours and develop into a dull ache which then spreads to surrounding joints. The affected area develops a red line with small white lesions. In severe cases, blisters and weals looking like a string of beads may appear. Victims may exhibit signs of shock. Children, asthmatics and people with allergies can be badly affected and many cases of respiratory distress have been reported,” he informed.