Non-indigenous marine species have found pathways through the coverage of oceans which cover 70% of the earth’s surface. Marine Invasive Alien Species (IAS) once introduced and established in Barbados and the OECS countries, negatively impact human health, tourism, coastal development, ecosystems, fisheries, and aquaculture. The Atlantic Sea Nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) is one of four potentially high-risk aquatic species, that may be introduced into the region in the future.
The Atlantic Sea nettle is also called the East Coast sea nettle. The blooms of the sea nettle negatively impact humans. The toxins from the sea nettle are mild, however, the sting is painful to people who are sensitive to its sting. Large masses of these jellies deter beachgoers, and swimmers including locals and tourists from entering the water because contact with the tentacles can cause a painful rash.
There is a growing threat of the Atlantic Sea nettle due to global expansion. Governments around the regions are currently trying to implement programs to increase awareness of invasive species among sellers and hobbyists. Education for store employees would also help them with educating their customers, allowing customers to become aware of the risk of their purchases and reduce the risk of improper disposal of unwanted pets.
To prevent the spread of aquatic IAS, the International Maritime Convention adopted the Ballast Water Management Convention. This is to ensure that aquatic organisms, pathogens, and non-indigenous species are not spread through a ships’ ballast water. All countries in the subregion sans Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have signed.
Read more about this from our sources below!
Policy Brief – Prevention and Management of Marine Invasive Alien Species in the Caribbean
Aquarium of the Pacific – Atlantic Sea Nettle
ADW – Sea Nettle
Caribbean Invasives (Marine Risk Assessment Final Report) – Preventing the Costs of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in Barbados and the OECS Countries