Beach-goers beware of the weever fish

Weever Fish.
Weever Fish.

HOLIDAYMAKERS in Mablethorpe have been advised to keep their feet covered when paddling in shallow waters to avoid a painful sting.

The small, but poisonous weever fish has increased its presence in local waters and has resulted in a number of nasty stings by coastal visitors.

The Coastguard’s sector manager for Lincolnshire Sam Jessop said: “We are generally alerted to them at low water, as they like to bask in the sunshine just under the sand.

“They are very hard to see and you probably wouldn’t notice them unless you are stung.”

The weever fish lives under the sea, mainly burying itself under the sands and usually only reaches the length of 15cm. But don’t let its size fool you, this little fish has a venomous black fin which is raised up on its back.

Coming into contact with the weever’s fin can cause a painful prick into the skin and the peak of its poisonous sting occurs during the first two hours after impact.

The species found in shallow waters just like Mablethorpe is called the lesser weever.

The venomous spines on its back are mainly used as a defence mechanism and help the fish to capture its prey.

Warm water is the best course of treatment if you do come into contact with the weever fish, but a slight irritable pain may last anywhere up to two weeks.

August is the peak time of year where weevers are mostly seen due to the sea temperature rising to its highest at this time of year and the increased amount of bathers that enter the water.

The Coastguard recommends those paddling in the sea wear a pair of water shoes and, if stung, bathe the affected foot in warm water.

l Have you been stung by the weever fish or do you know anyone that has? Or have you had a different experience with a creature of the deep this season?

Email your stories and pictures to chloe.west@jpress.co.uk.