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Turtle numbers and increased marine stingers not linked

Masses of blue blubber jellyfish near the Urangan Pier earlier this week. Photo: Contributed
Masses of blue blubber jellyfish near the Urangan Pier earlier this week. Photo: Contributed

IT'S unlikely that increases in the number of marine stingers can be attributed to changes in turtle numbers, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection says.

Col Limpus, chief scientist, threatened species, at the department said the green turtle population foraging along the south and central coast of Queensland had been increasing steadily during the past 40 years.

"While there was some loss of turtles following the floods and storms of 2010-11, there are still very large numbers of turtles feeding in our coastal waters," he said.

"In addition, while all turtles eat jellyfish, it is not a major part of their diet in our coastal waters."

The department said it was aware of reports of swimmers being stung by marine stingers in waters off Fraser Island.

On Thursday, the Department of National Parks issued a warning to Fraser Island swimmers after multiple people were stung by the potentially deadly Irukandji jellyfish during the week.

Further information on marine stingers, including the Irukandji, is available on the department's website at ehp.qld.gov.au, other Queensland government websites such as Queensland Health at health.qld.gov.au/goodhealthintnq/topics/jellyfish.asp and on Surf Lifesaving Queensland's website at lifesaving.com.au/default.asp.

Topics:  fraser coast fraser island jellyfish marine stingers turtles



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