Perishing Velella cause putrid pong at Kāpiti beaches

Kāpiti Coast residents have had plenty of rain already this spring but it seems a bit more would be welcome at the beach communities.

Over the past ten days millions of translucent blue creatures called Velella which are like jellyfish with sails, have washed-up on beaches stretching up the west coast from Wellington to Taranaki.

And as they perish the putrid pong is unmistakable at the beach from Paekākāariki to Ōtaki.

Local residents say this is an entirely new phenomenon and grin and bear it seems to be the only option.

The morning stroll on the beach, a popular pastime, has been a bit much for many who have found the smell unbearable.

Although velella toxins are harmless to humans, it’s not a good idea to handle the jelly creatures and then touch your eyes or mouth. The velella neurotoxin can cause itching.

Photo by Himiona Grace Snr

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