Clinging Jelly fish in Groton growing in numbers

New London

GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The Ledge Light Health District has hung fact sheets about Clinging Jellyfish near the dock and beach at Mumford Cove. They aim to make people aware those jellyfish are in the waters.

One of the dangers may be that when you look into the water you may not be able to see them.

“The adult is about the size of a quarter,” said Syma Ebbin, research coordinator for Connecticut Sea Grant, which funded a recent study on the jellyfish.

They may be tiny but they could pack a big sting.

“Last year one of our residents was swimming in this area here and did get stung by jellyfish and ended up going to hospital,” said John Sutherland who lives in the Groton beachfront community.

This year, a researcher out of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod found a lot more of the Clinging Jellyfish.

“It was about six times higher than last year,” said Ebbin. “It was significantly higher so she was really concerned.”

Connecticut Sea Grant funded the study which could help characterize the habitat of the jellyfish so people will know what to avoid. Ebbin says they cling to eel grass and people who get stung usually brush by them.

She says coves may be more likely to have the Clinging Jellyfish as opposed to more active water where there are waves and a current. “That’s exactly it enclosed areas,” said Ebbin.

She’s more concerned about people in the aquaculture industry like oyster farmers who work directly in eel grass.

“The stings can be fairly intense and last three to five days,” said Ebbin.

Those in bigger boats may not be have to worry but kayakers or those closer to the water could come in contact with one of the stingers.

“If you’re in a small boat, a dinghy, or something like that yeah it would be easy to get stung and the biggest concern I guess is for children,” said Sutherland.

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