Thursday, July 16, 2015

Portuguese Man O’ War Reported on Long Island Beaches

In July, Fire Island National Seashore (FINS) received reports of Portuguese Man O’ War at various locations on Long Island’s South Shore beaches.

On July 8 a visitor to Jones Beach, the barrier beach west of Fire Island, encountered and reported three Portuguese Man O’ War.

On July 1 there was a sighting at Fire Island Pines and, since that time, National Park Service (NPS) lifeguards found and buried four of the animals near Sailors Haven.

Notices and safety warning flags will be posted at visitor centers and on NPS lifeguarded beaches on Fire Island. If a public safety risk is identified, NPS lifeguarded beaches will be closed to swimming. Beaches within the towns of Brookhaven and Islip on Fire Island are taking similar precautions, according to NPS.

The Portuguese Man O’ War (Physalia physalis) has long tentacles with stinging cells used to capture its small fish prey. These stinging cells can cause a painful sting to humans, even after the animal has died.

source: National Park Service