BREAKING: Irukandji jellyfish confirmed off Fraser Island
THE deadly irukandji jellyfish has been found in waters off Fraser Island.
On Saturday, Surf Life Saving Queensland conducted a drag off the western side of the island using nets to survey the stingers there.
But the night before, leading irukandji expert Jamie Seymour arrived on the island and promptly found one himself.
The drag was organised after a spate of suspect irukandji stings.
Since December 22, 10 people have fallen seriously ill with irukandji syndrome symptoms after being stung while swimming off the island's western coast.
Associate Professor Seymour, who works for James Cook University and is an adviser to SLSQ, caught the fingernail-sized irukandji 30m off the shoreline on Friday night.
Prof Seymour said the find was almost expected to him.
"I'm not surprised at all," he said.
"I found one here ten years ago too, but the tourism industry said I had no idea.
"And I was warning them for ten years before that too."
But SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill said his organisation didn't find anything of mention during Saturday's drag.
"We didn't find a single specimen," Mr Hill said.
A southerly wind could, however, have affected the results.
"If there were to be irukandji here, they would be more prevalent when (there is a) north-easterly wind," Mr Hill said.
"We are thinking there is a possibility we could come back later in the week when conditions are better."
Mr Hill said if the jellyfish Assoc Prof Seymour caught was found to be of the deadly sort, effort would need to be put into educating the public.
"Different irukandji jellyfish have different level of severity," he said.
"The irukandji-like stings have become a regular occurrence on Fraser Island from December to January, and people now need to be aware that the danger is here."