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As Jellyfish Bloom Around Malta, This Rare Species Makes Its Way To Shore

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Photo: Michael Zammit

After weeks of carpets, waves, and blooms of jellyfish hitting Maltese shores, a new type of jellyfish has been spotted floating about Wied ż-Żurrieq. The Compass Jellyfish is an especially rare type of jellyfish – and it packs a very painful sting.

“The species has only been spotted twice, prior to this report, in Maltese waters, at Ramla l-Ħamra in 2017 and again at Wied ż-Żurrieq in 2014. Within the Mediterranean it is mainly restricted to the western half of the basin,” said Dr. Alan Deidun, a biologist and environmentalist.

The Compass jellyfish is usually seen around the May – July period.

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How to treat a Compass jellyfish sting

1. Wash the stung area carefully with seawater. Do not rub.
2. Apply a baking soda slurry (a mixture of 50% commercial
baking soda and 50% seawater)for five minutes if available, to
prevent further stings from attached tentacles.
3. Use a plastic card to scrape off any residual tentacles.
4. Apply ice packs (wrapped in a cloth or thin towel, not
directly on the skin) for 5-15 minutes. Warn the person stung that this may initially be uncomfortable. If pain is still present after this time, the ice pack may be reapplied

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