In a statement, the IPMA said that data from GelAvista, responsible for monitoring gelatinous organisms in Portugal, suggests that the abundance of the species could increase in the coming weeks and months.
So far the species Physalia physalis (Portuguese man o' war) has been seen at Praia d'El Rey (municipality of Óbidos), off Farilhões (Berlengas), on Ursa beach and Magoito beach (municipality of Sintra), in Guincho beach (Cascais municipality), Amoreira beach (Aljezur municipality) and Milícias beach (São Miguel, Azores).
"GelAvista advises to avoid touching organisms, even when they appear to be dead/dry on the beach", reads the statement, warning that, in case of burns from contact with this species, hot compresses (40°C) should be applied) for about 20 minutes or vinegar.
Portuguese man o' war are characterised by a “balloon”-shaped float and are often blue or pink in colour.
According to the IPMA, this is the species that requires “most caution” among those that occur in Portugal due to the long tentacles that can reach 30 metres in length and are capable of causing severe burns.