WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. (CBS) — For the second consecutive year, small but painful jellyfish have been found in a North Jersey river. Nothing to worry about in South Jersey, at least for now.
Seventeen clinging jellyfish, about the size of a dime, were found last week in the Shrewsbury River. Professor Paul Bologna, who heads up the Marine Biology and Coastal Sciences Center at Montclair State University, says there’s no need for concern if you’re headed down the shore.
“They really don’t like being in the coastal ocean,” Bologna told KYW Newsradio. “In fact, if they were ever to get flushed out there, the surf would just tear them to pieces.”
They like calmer waters and cling to things like eel grass and algae. There’s no sign of any of these jellyfish in South Jersey, although Bologna stresses they haven’t been looking for them here.
And before you panic, there is another similar jellyfish known to inhabit local waters that looks very much like these clinging jellyfish.
“We have something called bougainvillea which is very small and has that similar ‘x’ pattern that these clinging jellyfish have,” Bologna added. “But it’s not going to sting you. It’s a very common, native species.”
Still,, his staff has a page on Facebook called “New Jersey Jellyspotters” for people to post any possible encounters with the fish.