Council needs more proof before taking action on irukandji

FRASER Coast Mayor Chris Loft said that the council has made an enquiry to the state government regarding claims that irukandji have been found in Fraser Coast waters.

"We need to have it confirmed by the department," he said.

"We need to wait for the facts first.

"As far as I'm concerned it's a lot of media hype."

In the scenario that irukandji were confirmed, Cr Loft said that council would take action.

"Tourism is such a huge industry here, we would do what we can, if it was true," he said.
 

 

EARLIER: IT TOOK Jamie Seymour just 15 minutes to find a irukandji jellyfish in his hunt for the deadly animal in Fraser Island waters.

The James Cook University professor used a boat with underwater lights in his search on Friday, with the lights attracting the jellyfish.

"It was the deadly species we found," he said.

"Its exact name is Carukia barnesi.

"Afterwards, we found another one but I only needed the one irukandji to show they're there."

Prof Seymour said he was certain that the almost dozen people who had recently suffered what were described to be 'irukandji-like symptoms' while swimming on Fraser Island, were from the real deal.

Where jellyfish stings causing Irukandji-like symptoms occurred on Fraser Island since December 22.
Where jellyfish stings causing Irukandji-like symptoms occurred on Fraser Island since December 22. Contributed

 

"The vast majority of people who get stung just show incredible pain, which is what has been happening," he said.

A man was alsog hospitalised after swimming in the waters off Torquay on Friday.

The man felt what he described to be a 'cut' feeling on the back of a knee, and then fell severely ill over the next hour.

Prof Seymour said the only explanation for that, was the sting of a irukandji.

"What he experienced … were classic irukandji symptoms," he said.

Judging by that, it means irukandji jellyfish have infested Hervey Bay waters.

Prof Seymour said the next steps that need to be taken were to educate the public on their presence.

"You have to make it obvious and let people know that if they go in that water, they could end up in hospital," he said.
"To have 10 people stung and have nothing done about it, that's criminal."

Fraser Island - Surf Life Saving Queensland have conducted marine stinger drags on Fraser Island. The drags were to look for Irukandji - Jellyfish expert, Associate Professor for James Cook University and advisor to Surf Life Saving Queensland, Jamie Seymour caught this Irukandji on Friday night, 30 metres off the Fraser Island Shore.
Fraser Island - Surf Life Saving Queensland have conducted marine stinger drags on Fraser Island. The drags were to look for Irukandji - Jellyfish expert, Associate Professor for James Cook University and advisor to Surf Life Saving Queensland, Jamie Seymour caught this Irukandji on Friday night, 30 metres off the Fraser Island Shore. Valerie Horton

He also said doing more research was a vital step in understanding the creature.

"There are eight different types of irukandji that give the severe symptoms," he said.

"We need to know more about them, like about how their venoms are different and what weather conditions they like."

Surf Life Saving Queensland members also conducted a search for irukandji on the weekend, but they found nothing.

Their method was different from Prof Seymour's in that they used marine drags - similar to fish nets but specifically for jellyfish.

"Dragging is a hit or miss," Prof Seymour said.

"If you catch something with a drag, it shows it's there but if you don't, it doesn't mean it's not there."



WATCH: Police raids net alleged drug trafficking syndicate

Premium Content WATCH: Police raids net alleged drug trafficking syndicate

17 arrests were made in two days and 68 charges laid after 13 search warrants were...

Police ask for public’s help to find stolen car

Premium Content Police ask for public’s help to find stolen car

The black 2005 Peugeot 307 convertible was allegedly stolen last week

Woman ‘never intended to return’ borrowed phone

Premium Content Woman ‘never intended to return’ borrowed phone

The victim was expecting to get it back but instead her friend pawned it