Authorities scoop ELEVEN tonnes of jellyfish from Costa del Sol beaches

A huge jellyfish bloom has washed up on beaches across the Malaga region.

Authorities scoop ELEVEN tonnes of jellyfish from Costa del Sol beaches
A beach full of jellyfish. Photo: Shawn Harquail/Flickr

Authorities in the Malaga region have cleared around 8 tonnes of the gelatinous creatures from the shore between Nerja and Vélez-Malaga  and another 3 tonnes between Torremolinos and Mijas  after the coastline experience the biggest bloom since 2012.

The jellyfish have been identified as a species known as the mauve stinger (Pelagia noctiluca) which can cause a nasty case of burning, nausea and muscle cramps if they come in contact with the skin.

Yellow flags have been flying at affected beaches since the weekend to warn of the danger of stings.

Professor Josep Maria Gili from Barcelona's Institute of Marine Sciences,told The Local that the best protection against jellyfish stings is to use sunscreens “well and continuously”.

What to do in case of a jellyfish sting

If you are stung by a jellyfish, Gili advises leaving the water immediately and looking for a lifeguard. If there are no lifeguards on the beach, wash the wound with salt water, never fresh water.

Cool the area down by applying ice for around five to ten minutes. You can also try wetting the wound with vinegar or baking soda dissolved in water.

Protect the area by using an antiseptic to avoid infections. If the pain continues, make sure you consult a doctor. 

And Gili warns against the common myth that urinating on a jellyfish sting can help ease the pain.

“That is absolutely false,” he told The Local.

“It could be effective for some fish bites but never for jellyfish.” 

READ MORE: Portuguese man o'war stingers close down Costa Blanca and Mallorca beaches 


Teenager dies snorkelling after venomous fish encounter off Costa Brava beach

A 16-year-old was killed while snorkelling off Platja d’Aro in Catalonia after an encounter with a venomous weever fish.

Teenager dies snorkelling after venomous fish encounter off Costa Brava beach
Stock photo: District47/Flickr

The boy, who has not been publically named, suffered anaphylactic shock and died on Saturday afternoon while on a family trip to the beach.

His parents raised the alarm after he disappeared while snorkelling and he was found unconscious nearby by bathers and brought to shore.

Initial post-mortem results show the teenager had a tiny wound on his neck, above his windpipe, and scratches on his face.

His parents told local media that he had been filming marine life with a waterproof camera and that footage retrieved by investigators suggested he had been stung by a weever fish.

“He had been following a jellyfish about 100 metres offshore which led him to a strange and colourful fish with a harmless-looking face,” according to a statement from the parents quoted in La Vanguardia.

“He was only able to film it for 30 seconds from a distance and at the last second it disappeared and stung him around the jaw area.”

A post-mortem has been carried out in nearby Girona where forensic staff are awaiting toxicology results.

The fish has been identified locally as a spotted weever (rachinus araneusa) a species that carries venom in its dorsal spines and buries itself in sand on the seabed.

Photo by Roberto Pillon/creative commons/

They are usually hard to spot and have been known to deliver painful stings to swimmers feet who unknowingly step in them when paddling in shallow water.

But although they can provoke a severe allergic reaction and in rare cases provoke heart attacks such stings rarely prove fatal because those who step on them can usually reach the safety of the shore before drowning.