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Jellyfish and lice have arrived on oceanic current

Surfer Bo Carter with one of the blue jelly fish causing the problems.
Surfer Bo Carter with one of the blue jelly fish causing the problems. Blainey Woodham

IF you have felt a sting in the surf this week, then you are not alone.

Richard Nott surfs at Snapper Rocks and has noticed an increase in the numbers of jellyfish in the water in the past week.

"I have never known for them to be a problem," he said.

"It's like sandflies, some people will get irritation from them and some won't."

Bo Carter, from Victoria, has recently moved to the Gold Coast and had his first encounter with blue bottles earlier in the week.

"I was surfing on Monday and got stung," he said.

"I don't think we have them down there (Victoria). I think the water is too cold."

Young surfer Holly-Daze Coffey said she has also noticed an increase in stingers numbers

"They are not the stingers, it's the sea lice," she said.

Ms Coffey said she has never experienced the sea lice this bad before.

Despite the threat of being stung, it does not stop the surfers from getting into the water.

Mr Carter said, "It was more annoying than anything."

Cape Byron Marine Park manager Andrew Page said he believed sea lice was a common name for "little crustacea."

"They are all planktonic animals and at the mercy of the currents and winds," Mr Page said.

He said currents were bringing the lice and jellyfish to the Tweed and was not the result of recent flooding.

"These are oceanic species," he said.

"At certain times of the year, and this is that time, the east Australian current runs closer to the shore which brings the jellyfish in."

"I rarely see blue blubber jellyfish in the ocean around here (Byron Bay) but the last few weeks I have seen a few."

In December, Fraser Coast newspapers reported "alarming" numbers of jelly fish were swarming in the area.

Topics:  snapper rocks stingers



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