Irukandji stinger prompts tourism warning

January 10, 2018

An Irukandji jellyfish (file) has been caught on the western side of Queensland's Fraser Island.

Deadly Irukandji Jellyfish are drifting further south along Queensland's coastline and could eventually put the Gold and Sunshine Coast's tourism industries at risk, an expert has warned.

Professor Jamie Seymour has "little doubt" Irukandji will keep moving after a stinger was found at Fraser Island on Sunday and a boy was stung on Mooloolaba Beach on the Sunshine Coast 12 months ago.

"It would shut beaches. It would collapse tourism," the toxinologist from James Cook University told AAP on Wednesday.

Mr Seymour said warmer sea temperatures are the reason Irukandji could become a regular occurrence at Mooloolaba, and even as far south as Coolangatta on the Gold Coast.

The lack of forward-planning on the issue is a point of frustration for Mr Seymour, who is "sick of" warning of the risk of the highly venomous species.

"How many more people need to get stung before it's realised it is not just a one-off?" he asked.

"Be proactive, don't wait until it becomes a larger problem. Throw money at it now."

The Irukandji jellyfish caught on the western side of Queensland's Fraser Island on Sunday prompted a warning for swimmers to stay out of the water.

There were 10 suspected Irukandji stings on the western side of Fraser Island between December 22, 2016, and January 5 last year.

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