A purple jellyfish that has been observed in the Aegean Sea has alarmed scientists who warn that the undesirable species might make its way to the Ionian Sea as well.
The specific species of jellyfish referred to as Pelagia noctiluca in Latin causes a very painful sting, Epaminondas Christou, director of research at the Oceanography Institute of the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR), told Anadolu Agency.
Large numbers of the jellyfish have already been seen in the central and northern Aegean, however, recently it also appeared in the Saronic Gulf.
According to experts the rising sea temperatures as well as the over exploitation of the sea might be intensifying the phenomenon, while the declining numbers of turtles which is the main predator of jellyfish might also be one of the causes.
Its presence depends on the sea currents while it can be seen across the Mediterranean, however, its strong presence in the Aegean Sea might indicate that the species might be breeding there.
Christou said the most effective immediate treatment of bites is done with the use of seawater in order to remove possible residues and an ice pack.
A mixture of baking soda and sea water 1: 1 for 2 minutes, which stops the release of the toxin, can also be used, he added.
He warned that the use of vinegar which is the most common way of treating stings should be avoided because it causes the release of filamentous cells.