Experts unable to confirm species of Kata jellyfish

PHUKET: A Phuket diver photographed what he believed to be a box jellyfish while diving off of Kata Beach last Sunday.

The photo was supplied to the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Region 5 by Kanawut Krongraksa, who spotted the creature at a depth of about eight meters. However, experts have yet to confirm the exact species.

“I have seen the photo myself, but we can’t confirm what species of box jellyfish it is,” Dr Charatsee Aungtonya, a marine expert from the DMCR, told the Phuket Gazette.

“It is possible for them to come closer to the surface where people are swimming. Therefore, I would like to caution people not to touch a jellyfish should they see one. There is no need to panic, but it is wise to be aware and forewarned.”

Jellyfish stings can be extremely painful and potentially deadly. Of the 36 different box jellyfish species, nine are poisonous to varying degrees, Dr Charatsee noted.

DMCR divers are currently looking for a sample to confirm the exact species. Any information can be passed on to the DMCR office at 076-391 128 from Monday to Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm.

— Chutharat Plerin

Phuket News

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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