Council warns residents to be aware of marine stingers


Council is reminding residents that certain wind conditions and warmer summer weather can bring more marine stingers to local waters.

Redland City Council Chief Executive Officer Mr Bill Lyon said Council also wanted to ensure residents were informed that a recently reported Irukandji in Moreton Bay Waters was of the type that is known to inhabit the area.

“It is important for residents to know that the species of Irukandji recently reported as stinging a child at Wellington Point has been identified by marine expert, Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin as a morbakka jellyfish (Irukandji morbakka fenneri), also known as a Moreton Bay stinger.”

Dr Gershwin said there were four types of Irukandji found in Queensland, but only the morbakka jellyfish was known to inhabit Moreton Bay.

“Morbakka jellyfish are a normally-occurring resident species in Moreton Bay and are not a new species that has travelled south to the area,” Dr Gershwin said.

“They have always been there, with their name meaning Moreton Bay, and there are generally 6 -12 incidences of people in south-east Queensland being stung each year, though most cases result in milder reactions than the recent incident at Wellington Point.

“However, one case a few years ago required life support.

“The other three types of Irukandji are generally regarded as more dangerous – Carukia barnesi which is the most common Irukandji; Malo kingi which is regarded as the most lethal; and Alatina mordens which is highly toxic – occur in warmer waters of northern Queensland and are not known to have been found in local waters.”

Mr Lyon said once Redland City Council had been informed of the marine stingers and incident at Wellington Point, it installed signage and provided information on its website.

“I encourage people to know the appropriate first aid for marine stings, which can be found at Surf Life Saving’s website at http://beachsafe.org.au/surf-ed/marine-stingers.”

View a fact sheet about morbakka here:

http://www.redland.qld.gov.au/AboutRedlands/FactSheets/Documents/Health/FS032%20Morbakka%20jellyfish%20in%20the%20Redlands.pdf