VISITORS to beaches up and down the Costa Blanca have been greeted by a larger than expected number of jellyfish for this time of the year.
The plague of the poisonous Portuguese man-of-war species has reached the Alicante Province after being brought on the current from their usual breeding areas in Cadiz and Huelva.
In recent weeks, lifeguards in Benidorm have removed 14 from their beaches and returned them to the sea.
From Torrevieja to Guardamar and from Alicante to San Juan the invasion was noticed by people on the beach and in the water.
Such was the danger to San Juan beach that the authorities raised the red flag on Sunday to warn bathers.
Known as one of the most dangerous of sea creatures, the Portuguese man-of-war has a very painful sting and contains 10 times more venom than a normal jellyfish.
Victims can suffer from fever, paralysis; vomiting and the bites can leave nasty scars.
A biologist at the Institute of Coastal Ecology, Juan Guillén, said that the Portuguese man-of-war are rare in the Mediterranean and it has its habitat in the warm waters of all the world’s oceans, it is more usual to see it in the Atlantic.
He said that usual practice requires the raising of the red flag raised until they disappear from the area. Speaking to Spanish media, Guillen went on to say that “we know that they are appearing in Calpe, Benidorm and San Juan at the moment and I am sure that we will also see them very soon in other zones. They come from the area of Huelva and Cadiz where the authorities have already closed a number of beaches.”