Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services














Some people think that jellyfish are "mysterious killers from the deep", or "completely unknown", or "invisible and aggressive". None of these are true. We know a lot about how to prevent stings. The risk of stinging is low, but when it happens, it can be severely debilitating or even life-threatening; a few simple things can make a huge difference.

Always swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags; life guards monitor the beaches every day for the presence of marine stingers.

Protective clothing such as a full-body lycra suit protects about 80% of the skin from stinging - and also from sunburn!

Talk to the lifesavers at the beach: they know when and where stings have occurred, to help you make an informed decision.


Other things you can do to improve your safety:

There is a very strong correllation between Irukandjis and small invertebrates called "salps" and "sea lice". Salps do not sting, but co-occur with Irukandjis almost all the time; thus, if you see salps, there are probably Irukandjis around too. Salps swim stuck together in long chains with a herringbone arrangement.

Sea lice sting a bit, but also co-occur with Irukandjis and salps. If you see a ribbon of "jelly buttons" washed up on the beach along the high tide line, or if you feel a lot of sea lice in the water, the risk is increased that Irukandjis may be present.

For box jellyfish, the risk is increased when large numbers of Acetes prawns (small prawns that swim in dense schools) are present.

Identification charts and workshops are available to help distinguish different risk indicators;


home I about us I services I downloads I contact us
Copyright © 2011 Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services. All rights reserved. Page modified 8 August, 2011 10:41