A jellyfish collected near Duck Arm more than a year ago remains unidentified. The jellyfish discovered by Ross Scott was forwarded to the CSIRO for identification. CSIRO and Australian expert on jellyfish Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin stated that “DNA testing would take place to try and determine where the Gippsland Lakes jellyfish originated from” and that “the jellyfish was in the Sea Nettle group, so was likely to sting.” Dr Gershwin was retrenched before any positive identification was made.
But the specimen appears to have belonged to a species usually resident in the warmer waters of NSW and southern Queensland. The discovery made the news at the time – as in this informative article by Julianne Langshaw in the Gippsland Times (with photo) http://www.gippslandtimes.com.au/story/2147650/stinger-jellyfish-mystery/
Unfortunately Langshaw made no mention of the species gradually extending its range southwards and that this was a result as the warming ocean.
Elsewhere Hobday and Hartog of the CSIRO (see below) have clearly measured the warming of our coast http://www.redmap.org.au/article/sea-temperatures-and-climate-change-in-victoria/
All this shows that our knowledge of the lakes, the species they contain, the temperatures and salinity of the waters is strictly limited. Our knowledge of the threats of climate change – of rising sea levels, of acidifying oceans and the migration of species is almost non existent. When will the relevant authorities carry out studies now required for the preservation of this wonderful system?