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A STUDY ON AWARENESS OF PEOPLE ABOUT JELLYFISH ALONG THE SOUTHWEST COASTS OF TURKEY | Abstract
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A STUDY ON AWARENESS OF PEOPLE ABOUT JELLYFISH ALONG THE SOUTHWEST COASTS OF TURKEY

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Abstract

Nurcin Killi,Ozan Sagdic,Sibel Cengiz

This study is about a questionnary developed to collect data related awareness of people about jellyfish and injury cases. The questionnary was distributed to 226 people in the touristic areas of the west and the southwest regions of Turkey, with the participants consisting of holiday-makers, people working in the tourism sector, fishermen, divers as well as local dwellers. Overall, 78% of the participants had previous awareness of the existence of jellyfish, whereas the remaining 22% had heard about jellyfish for the first time only. The most known jellyfish species were Aurelia aurita, Cotylorhiza tuberculata, Chrysaora hysoscella and Rhizostoma pulmo. In total, 42% of the participants had run into jellyfish at least on one occasion before. The most common injuries were erythema, itching and blistering, and two people retained scars caused by Pelagia noctiluca. Of the participants that were injured by jellyfish, 91% did not seek hospitalisation or health care, 76% were una-ware of the measures necessary following jellyfish injury, and 96% of those who spotted jellyfish whilst swim-ming or from the beach did not inform any academic institution or research organisation. Since jellyfish form swarms that are usually carried around randomly by currents, it is mandatory that people be informed about jellyfish blooms and possible related injuries. This is especially important since jellyfish injury cases are gen-erally not being recorded from hospitals and health care providers throughout Turkey. The present question-nary-based study has shown that even people affected by jellyfish injuries fail to notify relevant institutes or organisations. Further questionnaries and related projects should be implemented so as to collect data of jelly-fish injuries and to increase people’s awareness of jellyfish-related risks in other parts of Turkey.

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