An increase in marine stingers will be the focus of a new study on the Sunshine Coast.
An increase in marine stingers will be the focus of a new study on the Sunshine Coast. Valerie Horton

Is climate change bringing more deadly stingers to Coast?

AN INCREASE in stingers, including members of the deadly irukandji family, will be the focus of a new study looking to identify the effects of climate change on the Coast's marine life.

Cr Jenny McKay said a nine per cent increase in the amount of stingers on the Coast had driven a $25,000 funding allocation in the environment levy program for the climate migration study.

"What this report will do will give us greater clarity around it," Cr McKay said.

"There is a lot of information, but there is nothing like putting all of that information together and then having a clearer picture of what really is happening and whether it is a part of global warming or what is actually happening and why the nine per cent increase in stingers."

She wasn't sure when the study would be started or completed but hoped it might be done before summer.

Cr Tim Dwyer questioned council officers during Thursday's meeting about the likelihood of irukandji migration to the Sunshine Coast.

He referred to the work of biologist and jellyfish expert Dr Lisa-Ann Gershwin, who has previously said there was little or no evidence of north-to-south movement of irukandji.

But the officer said there were a range of conflicting opinions among experts on the matter.

Cr Dwyer asked that the council work with northern regional councils including Noosa, Gympie and Fraser Coast to share the cost and workload of addressing the issue.

Cr Greg Rogerson spoke of other aspects of the environment levy program, particularly the management of weeds along roadside verges.

He said he wanted the council to work with the Department of Transport and Main Roads to ensure funding was forthcoming to contain pest plants like giant rats tail.

The environment levy was adopted with a unanimous vote.



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