Monday 24 July 2017

Box jelly fish update in July 2017

Box jelly fish update in July 2017

Here's a short Box jelly fish update in July 2017.

The most interesting news is that two stinger protection nets have been placed at two different beaches on Koh Samui. One net has been placed in front of Lamai Wanta Beach Resort at Lamai beach.
The other net has been placed in front of Ozo at Chaweng beach.
This is a great start and I can only hope that this initiative will be followed by plenty of other hotels around the island.
Providing the nets will be well maintained and checked on a regular base, they should give real good protection against box jelly fish encounters and incidents.

Box jelly fish update in July 2017

Box jelly fish update in July 2017; Box jelly fish netting in place at Lamai Wanta beach resort

Other great news is that over the last two weeks, a well known box jelly fish researcher has visited Koh Samui, for the second time. Meet Angel Yanagihara from Hawaii in the USA. She is a PhD research professor and trained as a biochemist. She has conducted and completed research relating to box jelly fish in various parts around the world over the last twenty or so years.
This time she came to Samui as an invited expert to provide training in field ecology approaches and direct activity assays to Thai and other international partners.

Box jelly fish update in July 2017

Box jelly fish update in July 2017; Box jelly fish warning sign in Thai and English with a vinegar station

This is the second time she visits the Koh Samui archipelago and this time around she had a very successful visit. 
Angel and her team caught a 'Morbakka' box jelly fish at Koh Tao and at Lamai beach she caught a potentially deadly 'Chironex' species of box jelly fish, the species that could well have been injuring people over the last few years around Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

Box jelly fish update in July 2017

Box jelly fish update in July 2017; A life guard station near Lamai Wanta Beach Resort. Unfortunately this initiative that seemed to have started out so well, has not gone very far. The station on the picture seems to be never staffed. Especially now in high season and potentially with a high concentration of box jelly fish around, there should be more posts and staff to man them.

The box jelly fish season is about to heat up with many known and registered incidents happening between July-August until roughly October over the last couple of years. This can be caused due to the life span and life cycle of the 'Chironex' box jelly fish around Koh Samui waters.
Proof of box jelly fish already being around is the adult 'Chironex' box jelly fish species that Angel caught last week at Lamai beach.
Incidents have also been reported and registered outside of this period but the mentioned period between July and October does see an increase in incidents.

Box jelly fish update in July 2017

Box jelly fish update in July 2017; With Angel Yanagihara, a well known box jelly fish researcher from Hawaii. At Lamai beach in front of Lamai Wanta Beach Resort, during her second visit to Koh Samui

For me, as a self educated, local box jelly fish interested person, it was a great opportunity to meet up with Angel and get to hear some details about her various research programs. We met the day before she was about to leave back to Hawaii. Due to my busy travel plans, I'm glad we were able to meet at all. 
Hopefully she will find funding to return to Thailand and assist in the box jelly fish prevention programs and projects around Thailand. Although progress has been made, a lot of improvement and awareness can still be achieved.

Box jelly fish update in July 2017

Box jelly fish update in July 2017; Angel's mobile laboratory in her room. On the door was a sign in Thai, stating that at no time at all staff should enter the room!

The Thai government doesn't seem to want to hide the presence and issues of box jelly fish in Thai waters, now it's time to expand on this and get more projects off the ground. It's an ongoing process!

For all the beach lovers, during the mentioned period of July through to October, be careful when you enter the water, ideally wear stinger suits or swim in roped off areas.

In case of a box jelly fish incident, just remember, the four most important things to do when stung by a box jelly fish;

1 - Call for help, on Koh Samui that means call the Rescue service at 1669

2 - Make sure if the victim needs CPR

3 - Treat the stings and wounds with copious amounts of vinegar

4 -  Transport to a medical facility

On a separate note, as added as an extra comment by Angel; vinegar is an essential first aid step to prevent additional nemaotcyst discharge and venom injection but it is not an authentic "treatment " in that it does not enter the blood stream, remove venom or inactivate the venom injected. Heat does authentically reduce venom activity and as such is an actual treatment. 45C for 45 min reduced the Samui Chironex venom activity by over 90%. Ice made it worse than room temp treatment.  These results are similar to my peer reviewed published findings in Chironex species elsewhere.

If you're interested in getting to know more about awareness and prevention of box jelly fish, please contact me for further details.

Please do 'like' my Koh Samui blog Facebook page and enjoy the beaches around the island or in front of your hotel or resort and get some well deserved rest and a break. If you're done resting or need something else to do, there's plenty of things on offer on and around Koh Samui, you can go snorkeling or diving or take a dive course. You can also enjoy some of the trips I recommend, like a half day gourmet lunch and snorkeling trip at the Southern part of Koh Samui or a photography trip where you get to see the most photo genetic spots on the island or go for a drinks tasting tour if you like a tipple or two. 

If you like to donate to this blog, use this secure link PayPal.Me/CamilleLemmens. 


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