For those planning to spend the last week of summer at the beach, you might have to watch out for box jellyfish.
The Guam Department of Agriculture is advising the public to be on the lookout for box jellyfish, which are anticipated to be seen in Guam waters from today to this Friday. These jellyfish have a cube-shaped bell and can have tentacles up to five or six feet long.
DOA Biologist Brent Tibbats says that the species seen around the island are not life-threatening, but they can give a painful sting…even when dead! He says box jellyfish are typically seen in the water or washed up on the beach during the months of June to August.
“Generally, they like go somewhere with a reef flat. So Tumon is a place, Piti is a place, Merizo is a plan, Pago Bay is a place. Ipan. Anywhere that has shallow and flat water is where they seem to hang out. They seem to come up in the shallows for these moon phases for a few days and we’re not sure why, but it may be for spawning or something,” Tibbats said.
If you see any box jellyfish, please notify the Guam Department of Agriculture by calling 735-0289 or email FISHERIES@DOAG.GUAM.GOV.
And if you are stung by a box jellyfish, scrape off the stinger, treat the site with vinegar, and seek medical attention if experiencing severe symptoms.