Wed, 06 Jul 2022

Poisonous weever fish hide on Irish beaches waiting for prey

Khalid Umar Malik
28 May 2022, 04:41 GMT+10

DUBLIN, Ireland - As the weather warms, Irish residents have been warned that jellyfish may not be the only vexing creatures on the beach.

The weaver fish is a master of disguise, burrowing itself in the sand and digging in so that only the eyes, mouth, and venomous black dorsal fin protrude.

When unlucky beachgoers step on them, they release a powerful sting causing excruciating pain.

Stings have also been linked to heart attacks and severe allergic reactions like anaphylactic shock.

"I have treated some jellyfish stings in the past," Wexford lifeguard Olivia Middleton told the press, "but for every jellyfish sting we treat on the beach, we treat 20 more weever fish stings."

However, it has been observed that different people react differently to Weever fish bites.

"I've seen grown men cry from pain and then a small child not be affected by it," RNLI lifeguard supervisor Beau Gillet stated.

To treat a weever fish sting, immerse the affected area in hot water no colder than 40 degrees Celsius, but as hot as you can stand.

The hot water draws out the venom and alleviates the pain.

To avoid a sting, Water Safety Ireland recommends "swimming approximately one hour to two hours either side of low water to reduce the risk of stepping on them."

"The public should wear flip flops or sandals when walking on the beach near low water," they added.

Sunbathers should still be cautious of jellyfish, as sightings of the venomous creatures are on the rise, possibly due to climate change.

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