Green - Deadly Jellies Drifting Further South
Climate change is causing the oceans to warm, which is changing the range of the deadly Irukandji Jellyfish so that it is appearing further and further south along the Queensland Coast.
An Irukandji was caught on the western side of Queensland's Fraser Island on Sunday. Officials then warned swimmers to stay out of the water while the weather was hot and humid, but said there was "no need to be alarmed at this point" about getting stung.
An expert on poisonous jellies has no doubt that more and more Irukandjis will be found in the region. In addition to the Fraser Island catch, boy was stung on Mooloolaba beach on the sunshine coast a year ago. James Cook University toxinologist Jamie Seymour says it will put the tourism economy at risk.
"It would shut beaches. It would collapse tourism," said Professor Seymour, warning that dealing with the problem sooner is better than dealing with it later. "How many more people need to get stung before it's realized it is not just a one-off?" he told the AAP, "Be proactive, don't wait until it becomes a larger problem. Throw money at it now."
Queensland Tourism Industry's chief executive officer, Daniel Gschwind, denies an Irukandji invasion is imminent: "To speak about some sort of migration is misleading or premature," he said.