Beachgoers cautioned against ‘bluebottles’ | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Beachgoers cautioned against ‘bluebottles’

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: Experts have advised picnickers to observe caution while visiting beaches after some people were reportedly stung by ‘bluebottles’ at Seaview a day earlier.

Since there are no officially declared ‘safe beach areas’, they have suggested that people avoid going into the seawater that has become rough these days.

“The present problem relates to the bluebottle (Physalia physalia), also called the Portuguese man-of-war. It’s a common marine species that resembles a jellyfish a lot,” said World Wide for Nature-Pakistan’s technical adviser on marine fisheries Mohammad Moazzam Khan.

Bluebottle bloomed thrice in a year mainly in March-April, July August and October-November, but the species was found round the year along the country’s coast, he added.

“Though rarely deadly, bluebottles are famous for painful stings that could be dangerous for children, elderly and people who got allergies,” he said.

Two other bluebottle species (Valella and Porpita) were also found in Pakistan but they were not that poisonous,” he explained.

According to Moazzam, a number of jellyfish species are found along Pakistan’s coast but box jellies are the most poisonous and can cause fatalities. One of box jellyfish species is Carybdea marsupialis.

In case someone is stung by a bluebottle, experts recommend that the affected area should be washed with seawater (or soaked in hot water for at least 20 minutes) to deactivate the stinging cells till medical help is sought.

Meanwhile, the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) authorities have advised beachgoers to stay away from sea waves and should be careful to the threat of bluebottles.

A CBC staff member told Dawn that no ban had been imposed on citizens visiting the Seaview and people were only being cautioned to remain at distance from the sea.

DAWN

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