STUNG BUT NOT SHY: Surfer Bo Carter with one of the blue jellyfish causing the problems.
STUNG BUT NOT SHY: Surfer Bo Carter with one of the blue jellyfish causing the problems. Blainey Woodham

Stingers land in our waters

IF you have felt the sting of sea lice in the surf this week, then you are not one of the lucky ones.

Richard Nott surfs at Snapper Rocks and has noticed an increase in jellyfish 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, 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 had noticed an increase in stingers.

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

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

Despite the threat of being stung, it has not stopped surfers getting in the water.

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

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.

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

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



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