JELLYFISH: Kyle Piper, 17, and his mate Ben Ryan, 16, carefully take a closer look at one of the washed up jellyfish at Agnes Water.
JELLYFISH: Kyle Piper, 17, and his mate Ben Ryan, 16, carefully take a closer look at one of the washed up jellyfish at Agnes Water.

Most jellyfish washing up are same breed

DESPITE a variance in colours and patterns, the jellyfish washed up on the region's beaches are mostly all breeds of the same and most common jellyfish.

In Tannum Sands, Agnes Water and the mouth of the Boyne River over the past two days, residents have witnessed an overwhelming number of jellyfish, including bluebottles.

Leading jellyfish expert and director of the Australian marine stinger advisory service, Dr Lisa-Ann Gershwin, said most were all breeds of the same and most common jellyfish, Lion's Mane.

 

 

It has a "moderate" sting that will generally last about 30 minutes.

Dr Gershwin said the influx of stingers in the water was like flowers blooming in the garden at spring time.

"You may only see one species of flower during winter and a huge range of blooms in spring," she said.

"Jellyfish are very plant-like and very predictable.

"We are in the middle of stinger season and at the moment we are seeing all of the conditions jellyfish thrive in.

"It's spring time for jellyfish, and so we are seeing many different types," she said.

"(The Lion's Mane jellyfish) don't even rank in danger compared to the box jellyfish and the irukandji," she said.

"The jellyfish you don't see are the ones to be worried about."

Dr Gershwin said the appearance of the jellyfish that washed ashore was generally only a speck of what lay beneath, out in the ocean.

She said the only way to protect yourself from the potentially lethal stings from irukandji or box jellyfish was to wear a full-body lycra suit.

"A sting from a box jellyfish can kill within two minutes," she said.

Dr Gershwin urged the public to avoid poking jellies that washed ashore.

Jellyfish can deliver venom even when they are dead.

ABOUT JELLYFISH

  • Irukandji tend to swim at the surface of the water, commonly stinging humans on the shoulders, chest or arms.
  • Box jellyfish tend to occupy the bottom of the ocean, commonly stinging the torso and leg areas.
  • Box jellyfish are most commonly located on the coast, while irukandji can be found in island waters.


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