POINT PLEASANT BOROUGH - A dangerous species of jellyfish usually found in the Pacific Ocean may have been found at the Jersey Shore.
Scientists believe that the dime-sized jellyfish recently netted by a fisherman near the Point Pleasant Canal is a clinging jellyfish.
"What we have here is what we think is the first occurrence of the clinging jellyfish in New Jersey,” says Dr. Paul Bologna, director of Marine Biology at Montclair State University.
The jellyfish gets its name because it is usually found clinging to eelgrass or seaweed. Clinging jellyfish prefer calm waters, rather than the rougher surf in the ocean.
They typically stay near the bottom of the water during sunlight and emerge to feed at night and on overcast days.
Dr. Bologna says that the venom of the clinging jellyfish is so toxic that encountering multiple jellyfish could be dangerous and may require a trip to the hospital.
“The worst-case scenario is kidney failure…so pretty significant,” he says.
People who live near the shore say that they will keep a watchful eye for jellyfish.
“It's something to be wary about and take necessary precautions if they do pose a threat,” says Point Pleasant Borough resident Martin Konkus.
DNA testing is now being done at Montclair State to confirm that the jellyfish found is in fact of the clinging jellyfish variety.