The increasing appearance of the stinging “Sea Nettles” jellyfish – Chrysaora quinquecirrha – in Barnegat Bay is an ominous sign. It may well be the result of too much development – with its resulting load of nutrients – having been allowed in Ocean County. Now what?
The increasing appearance of the stinging “Sea Nettles” jellyfish – Chrysaora quinquecirrha – in Barnegat Bay is an ominous sign. It may well be the result of too much development – with its resulting load of nutrients – having been allowed in Ocean County.
Here’s some background on the problem:
1 – An email communication from Dr. Kent Mountford, formerly witht the EPA, an expert on Cheasapeake Bay, and a historian of Barnegat Bay:
Having recently passed through Barnegat Bay aboard “Nimble” in late June, I was astounded to see, at Mantoloking first one, then at Mosquito Cove, 70 “sea nettles” . This stinging jellyfish has been the bain of water contact sports in the Chesapeake for over 100 years and is widely credited for retarding economic development during much of the 20th c. They are indeed a curse during summer weather, often making any form of swimming impossible.
Finding them in Barnegat was simply amazing to me. The nettle’s prime food supply the sea-walnut comb jellyfish Mnemiopsis is abundant in Barnegat and I fear the worst. In over half a century around Barnegat I’d NEVER seen a sea nettle. Seeing this many, and their size sequence from small to large establishes a breeding population without question.
In conversation with local boaters, they were encountered last summer (2003) in coves north of the Mantoloking Bridge (an Mosquito Cove) in numbers to inhibit swimmers.
While there may be no control of this pest, you and the user community ought to be aware of what’s coming, and be monitoring and studying these outbreaks.
Barnegat, you got a problem!
2 – Check out how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts the occurance of sea nettles in Chesapeake Bay by matching salinity and water temperature: http://coastwatch.noaa.gov/seanettles/