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West Coast of Bali on Jelly Fish Alert

Infestation of Poisonous Jellyfish Posing a Threat to Swimmers Along Stretches of Bali’s Western Shores. Lifeguard Service Says Kuta Beach Not Under Threat.

(7/19/2011) Updated and Corrected: Bali Post, Nusa Bali and Beritabali.com are all reporting that a species of purple and poisonous jellyfish have invaded the waters off Bali’s western beaches near Tabanan in an area stretching from the Tanah Lot Temple, to the Kediri district, Yeh Gangga and Kerambitan.

The jellyfish, said to “number in the millions,” are capable of dispensing a potent venom capable, in some instances, of killing human victims.

“These jellyfish are very dangerous,” said the chairman of the Indonesian Fisherman’s Association in Bali, I Ketut Arsana Yasa, on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. Adding, “if the poison reaches the victim’s heart it can kill.”

As a precaution, swimmers are advised to avoid swimming in the affected areas or, as a minimum precaution, to wear some form of lightweight protective swimwear that will prevent contact with the skin of the venomous tentacles of the jellyfish.

Arsana told the press that the problem stretches beyond the Tabanan region. “We have checked  Kuta, the regency of Badung and as far as Pengeragoan beach in the regency of Negara – all are reporting infestations of jellyfish. But the greatest concentration is along the beaches of Tabanan.,”said Arsana,

Balawista: Kuta Remains Safe

Refuting Arsana’s statement, NusaBali reports that the Badung Life Saving Service (Balawista) are denying the dreaded jellyfish have reached Kuta Beach. Speaking to the press on Friday, July 15, 2011, Ketut Ipel, the Secretary of Badung's Balawista, insisted Kuta’s beaches remain free of the poisonous jellyfish, although his teams of lifesavers are aware of the threat and are keeping a vigilant watch.

“Recently we found some jellyfish in Kuta, but they were not of the dangerous variety," explained Ipel. The jellyfish encountered thus far in Kuta were only capable of causing severe itching when swimmers come into contact with the sea creature tentacles.

Lifeguards on duty on the beach have prepared vinegar to help relieve itching, but have yet to encounter a single report of a swimmer being stung by any jellyfish on the beaches they patrol.