Jellyfish cause problems for Australian tourism

Published 19 January 2014, 17:17 AEST

A jellyfish called Irukangji is still moving south along the coast of Queensland, Australia, causing great problems for Australia's tourism and related industries.

As Irukandji jellyfish move to southern waters Jellyfish cause problems for Australian tourism (Credit: ABC)

Earlier this week, a 40-year-old man was taken to the hospital for treatment on suspicion of being stung by a jellyfish after swimming on Fraser Island. This is the eighth report of Irukandji jellyfish stings in the past year.

Shannon Klein, a doctoral student at Griffith University, believes that if this jellyfish starts to reproduce in the southeast coast of Queensland, it could cause a big problem.

She said that more and more adult jellyfish can now be seen going south with the East Australian Current. She said that with climate change this ocean current is currently strengthening, so in the short term, if jellyfish can find a habitat, it is likely that they will stay there.

She said that the development of Irukangji jellyfish is part of the world trend. With the warming of the ocean, tropical marine species are migrating to the world’s polar oceans.

Queensland lifeguards recommend that after seeing someone stung by a jellyfish, take the patient out of the water and place him/her in a safer place. He said someone needs to be supervised for at least 45 minutes. Approximately 40 minutes after being stung, the patient's skin will sting, followed by muscle pain, headache, and vomiting. In addition, patients may experience persistent symptoms of high blood pressure and chest pain.