The Department of Fisheries has expressed concern about increased reports of jellyfish sightings by members of the public, although it says the presence of the creatures in local waters is not unusual.
The Department has confirmed receiving several reports of jellyfish at Vigie beach and the Choc Bay area but says it is not a ‘major concern’.
It says some persons may be more susceptible than others to jellyfish stings.
“This is not unusual to have jellyfish in our waters, we actually do have jellyfish – there are different species,” the department’s Yvonne Edwin told St Lucia Times.
Both Tapion Hospital and the Owen King European Union Hospital have reported treating persons who have been attacked by the creatures.
Edwin said if anyone comes into contact with a jellyfish and it is the man O’ war species, the use of hot water or vinegar is advised to alleviate pain if there are visible welts, a rash or swellings.
“What we have been hearing and traditional persons have indicated the use of ammonium, urine, rubbing alcohol or fresh water to help with the pain, however findings have indicated that using those substances can actually trigger the release of more venom,” she explained.
“During the summer months you do get jellyfish but jellyfish are always there – they are within the ecosystem, however the currents could have brought in some more,” Edwin told St Lucia Times.
She said while the Department of Fisheries will not be installing any warning signs because the presence of jellyfish is a usual occurrence, it will be informing members of the public to become familiar with their surroundings and be cautious when swimming.