This Invasive Jellyfish Found in NJ Waters
The Gonionemus vertens is a species of jellyfish normally found in the Pacific Ocean in places like Vietnam, and California...the Jersey Shore.
The Gonionemus vertens, also known as the "Clinging Jellyfish" was first noticed at the Jersey Shore around 2016. Despite its name, it doesn't cling to bathers in the ocean. It got its name because it clings to vegetation in the water.
According to a story in the New York Post, Paul Bologna, who's a Marine Biologist at Montclair State University posted this warning online,
Just a heads-up folks. I picked up a couple of clinging jellyfish in the northern part of Barnegat Bay this weekend, So if you are in the shallow grass beds be wary of these little nasty stingers.”
These jellyfish are quite small. They're about the size of a quarter, however, their sting is quite potent, and could send you on a visit to the emergency room. Their sting can cause cramps, chest pains and a swollen throat.
The crazy thing about the effects of a sting from this jellyfish, is they say you might not notice any issues right away. You may feel the effects hours later.
The Clinging Jellyfish is normally found in mid-May and has been seen in Barnegat as well as Cape May. The good thing is they say you're not likely to encounter these jellyfish in areas that have a lot of bathers.
And here you thought sharks were scary.