'Poisonous jellyfish threat to coastal tourism'

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Panaji, Jul 17: The blue fluorescent jellyfish sprouting poisonous tantacles, which have suddenly invaded the west coast, particularly Goa and Mumbai recently, poses a threat to coastal tourism and fishing industry, scientists said.

''The sudden emergence of the jellyfish, also known as blue bottles or Portuguese Man O'war, in the coast may be due to climate change as a result of global warming, overfishing and increased flow of effluents into the sea,'' a study conducted by the prestigious National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) here revealed.

These toxic jellyfish are generally found in warmer waters and might have come out in hordes with the fish that feeds on them disappearing due to overfishing in the region, the study said.

The sudden invasion of the jellyfish and reports of many tourists hurt with its poisonous stings in the coast surprised many besides worrying the tourism sector of late.

They were first noticed when a batch of trainee lifeguards were demonstrating their skills at Vanguinim beach in North Goa by the side of a popular international resort.

The study, conducted by the NIO scientists Dr Baban Ingole and Dr R A Sreepada noted that the jellyfish explosion may affect tourism and fishing industry in the coast.

The study said Japan recorded 175 attacks and Spain 14,000 in the year 2006 by the jellyfish. Eight people in Fukuil (Japan) died following the sting in 1979 and 20 in Phillippines in 1996.


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