Sharks aren’t the only marine life gracing our beaches due to warmer seas, with jellyfish numbers also on the rise this summer.
A marine science professor at the University of Auckland, Andrew Jeffs, told 1News there have been “particularly large numbers of jellyfish” in certain parts of the country – and earlier than expected for this time of year.
“Just wall-to-wall jellyfish in some bays and coves.”
But while jellyfish blooms are a sight to behold, they’re also a source of pain for swimmers looking to cool off.
Lifeguards have been treating a steady stream of people stung by the creatures.
Waitārere Beach near Levin and Piha Beach near Auckland are among the areas seeing an uptick in the animals.
“Once you’re out in the water, that’s the real danger because as you’re swimming you can easily get stung,” Waitārere lifeguard Ollie Forth said. “But I’d say this year specifically, there are quite a few more.”
Some, like bluebottles, have an “intensely painful” sting, Jeffs added.
Anyone who is stung by a jellyfish has been advised to make sure to rise off any remaining tentacles by squirting at them with a bottle of seawater.
Dog owners have also been urged to keep their four-legged friends out of the water lest they end up with a trip to the vet.