Beach ball-sized jellyfish that can damage boats appear on NC, SC coast

Georgetown County News

White-spotted jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata), also known as the Australian spotted jellyfish. (Getty Images)

MURRELLS INLET, S.C. — Researchers are trying to keep tabs on jellyfish the size of beach balls that have begun to appear on the coast of the Carolinas.

“As its name implies, the Australian spotted jellyfish ain’t from around here – but it has been introduced far and wide beyond its original range in the Pacific,” the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said in a Facebook post.

The Australian spotted jellyfish form large “blooms” and eat fish and shellfish eggs. They can also damage boats and fishing gear.

They are sometimes seen along the Atlantic Coast.

The SCDNR said they received a report of one in Murrells Inlet in South Carolina. There have also been sightings in North Carolina.

“If you spend time on the water, please keep an eye out for this species … and help federal researchers keep tabs on it by reporting any sightings online,” SCDNR said.

You can report sightings of Australian spotted jellyfish on the U.S. Geological Survey website.

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