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Developed by Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin, director of Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services, together with two colleagues, cutting edge information on the app can be found on thejellyfishapp.com.
is Tasmania-based but has been studying jellyfish in Queensland waters for 20 years and internationally for 25 years.
says the app was due to be released last week but was instead being tweaked.
Release is imminent.
uncovered this news while speaking with Dr Gershwin
at the weekend after reading in the Whitsunday Times
of an irukandji sting in the Whitsundays last week, heralding the start of the Stinger Season in tropical Queensland waters.
stinger season kicked off late in September this year, with two irukandji stings recorded in Darwin, according to Dr Gershwin
All swimmers are advised to swim at patrolled beaches and to report all stings to lifeguards on duty who will render medical assistance.
Not only will your outcome be optimised but the information then can go into a database that will help with an Early Warning System being developed for stinger seasons.
However, Dr Gershwin
said it was early days yet for the development of this system.
Locals generally know to swim in the Horseshoe Bay and Picnic Bay stinger nets during the stinger season, described by Dr Gershwin
as lasting from anywhere in late September through to early June, to avoid being stung by the deadly box jellyfish, as the Chironex fleckeri is called locally.
has observed that busy stinger seasons in the tropics of Northern Australia, including tropical Queensland, tend to follow summers of high jellyfish activity in the Northern Hemisphere.
While this potential correlation has yet to be studied formally, she
feels that it is worthy of investigation as a potential season predictor.
That said, she
says based on these observations, we may be in for a busy stinger season.
was keen for the new app to take the guesswork, fear and misinformation out of swimming all over the world.
Magnetic Island's jellyfish are among some 230 jellyfish species in the world which will be featured.
The aim is to put the information in the context of what is dangerous or life-threatening and what is not for any geographical area where you visit throughout the world.
"A person stung by a box jellyfish can die in an average of four minutes - generally long before an ambulance has time to get there," says Dr Gershwin
said there had been two known deaths from Irukandji Syndrome in Queensland: one at the reef off Port Douglas, the other in the Whitsundays.
said: "Irukandkji Syndrome symptoms can include: nausea and vomiting; difficulty breathing, profuse sweating; lower back pain; abdominal cramping; and high blood pressure that can cause strokes and ultimately death."
said the sting can be difficult to see whereas Townsville Lifeguards spokesperson, Russell Blanchard, described box jellyfish stings as leaving whip-like welts.
During the stinger season, even in the nets when swimming, most wear full-body lycra "stinger suits", as they're known colloquially on Magnetic Island
, The stinger suits are like a huge "rashie", which surfers wear the world over, but the lycra stinger suits also covers arms and legs.
The nets keep out box jellyfish but not irukandjis, according to Dr Gershwin
recommends the lycra-style rather than mesh-style stinger suits.
Rather than be frightened of jellyfish, she
recommends being vigilant and making safe swimming choices, including asking the lifeguards about beach conditions before entering the water.
Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin, our Director, has over 18 years experience in jellyfish research, with focus on Australian jellyfishes since 1998.
Her PhD is in Identification and Classification of box jellyfish and Irukandjis.
She has published over 40 technical scientific papers on jellyfish and sting research.
In addition, we work closely with many experts around the world, in order to provide our clients with the best possible information and services that they need.
Click here for more info on Dr Gershwin's qualifications.
It's huge,' says Lisa-Ann Gershwin, director at Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services.
While reports of global nautical takeover by the invertebrates may be greatly exaggerated, Gershwin
says that the effect of human activity on coastal environments isn't helping.
Which is bad news, Gershwin
says, if you are a swimmer on a northern Queensland beach plagued by Irukandji jellyfish.
'It's astonishing it took us years to figure it out,' Gershwin
'We think of them of ferocious because they can hurt us,' Gershwin
says, 'but they're actually quite delicate.
does not believe greater jellyfish arrivals are a cause to stay out of the water.
'I can't keep out of the water!' she
laughs. 'But I am in favour of being in the water safely.'
advises simple actions such as swimming only at controlled beaches and wearing protected clothing, for those worried about the stings of the Irukandji.
Latest News | SEA LIFE Aquariums Official Website
His detailed sketch was until now the only record in existence, and helped jellyfish expert Dr Lisa-Ann Gershwin, of the Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Service, confirm identity.
The result could be large numbers ...
The result could be large numbers off beaches this summer, according to Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin, director of the Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services.