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.