Malaysia: More jellyfish off Sabah’s west coast due to hot spell

The Star 7 Aug 17;

KOTA KINABALU: Beware if you plan to go for a swim off Sabah’s west coast – the chances of getting stung by jellyfish in those waters are high.

Typically, jellyfish season is between March and July but the prevailing hot weather has caused a large number of the marine creature to remain there.

While jellyfish can be found all year round in the waters here, their numbers appear to dramati­cally increase during those five months, research by Universiti Malaysia Sabah concluded.

The university’s Borneo Marine Research Institute senior lecturer John Madin said the po­­pulation of certain jellyfish species also increases in December and January.

“The areas to watch out for are protected bays where the water is calmer,” he said.

State Fisheries Department director Ahemad Sade cautioned beachgoers against going into the water because a sharp rise in the number of jellyfish has been noted.

On July 30, five children aged between five and 12 were stung by jellyfish while swimming off Tanjung Aru beach.

Madin also said that the sting of the two most common jellyfish species – Lobonemoides robustus and Catostylus townsendi – is not potent but that of the species Carybdea sp. and Chironex sp. could be fatal.


Beachgoers, beware of jellyfish in waters off Sabah
The Star 3 Aug 17;

KOTA KINABALU: Beachgoers here are being warned to be cautious before entering the water amid a “blooming” of jellyfish along Sabah’s west coast.

State Fisheries Department director Ahemad Sade said the increased numbers of jellyfish was associated with the prevailing dry spell in Sabah for more than a week.

He said those heading to beaches such as the popular Tanjung Aru area near here should be extra careful.

“They should heed any warnings or advice from Civil Defence Department personnel at the Tanjung Aru beach,” Ahemad said.

He said it was difficult to predict the jellyfish season due to uncertain weather conditions.

The jellyfish season last year occurred between January and March. Five children were stung by jellyfish while swimming at the Tanjung Aru beach on Sunday.

The children aged between five and 12 years received first aid treatment from Civil Defence beach rangers who applied acetic acid on the wounds before they were taken to hospital.

According to department’s records, the jellyfish species at Tanjung Aru had been identified as the chironomid box (chorpsalmus quadrigatus) ) locally known as obor-obor api.

The sting of this jellyfish was known to be highly venomous.

The other type found in the sea in Tanjung Aru was the black spotted jellyfish (catostylus townsendi) locally known as obor-obor pasir.

The sting from the tentacles of this species could cause itch or allergic reactions causing inflammation and swelling.


Five children stung by jellyfish in Sabah
STEPHANIE LEE The Star 30 Jul 17;

KOTA KINABALU: Five children were stung by jellyfish while swimming at the public beach in Tanjung Aru on Sunday.

The victims have been identified as brothers Mohd Afiq Syahmi Aziz, 12, and Mohd Afif Danis Aziz, 10, their cousin Rafiqi Aishy Ramadan, six, and two others — Mohd Harish Hafsham, eight, and Nurhana Batrisya Md Hisham, five.

Sabah Civil Defence Department director Kol Mulliadi al-Hamdi said the children were swimming and playing at the beach in the afternoon when they felt pains on their bodies.

“These incidents happened at two different times, the first two cases happened at about 12.30pm involving Mohd Harish and Nurhana,” he said.

He said Mohd Harish was stung on his stomach, chest, left arm and his back while Nurhana was stung on her arm and feet.

He said beach patrol rangers were dispatched to the scene following a report of the incident.

The department was alerted about the second incident at 2.40pm.

The three victims — Mohd Afiq, Mohd Afif and Rafiqi — were all stung on their backs and chests.

All the victims were treated with acetic acid before being taken to the hospital for further treatment. They are all in stable condition.

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