Box jellyfish are responsible for deaths and injuries in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and throughout South-East Asia. In Thailand, safety is improving but precautions still need to be taken here and in less prepared nearby countries. Since 2009, this blog has provided accurate information about safety, stings and the world's most venomous animal. From 2020 posts will be reduced but check for updates and email if you have questions. Dedicated to Moa Bergman (02/03/97-03/04/08).
Phuket Installs Jellyfish Treatment Vinegar Poles & Signs
Phuket's independent English-speaking online newspaper, reports today that "the Phuket Marine Biological Centre and Phuket Public Health have set up
jellyfish awareness posters and sting treatment stations along Phuket's popular
west coast beaches."
The article tells
us that unnamed officials insist that this is a precautionary measure only and
not a response to an increase in jellyfish stings.
Interestingly, we’re told later in the
article that officials are not talking: “The fact that the key public health
bodies for the region have installed jellyfish awareness stations on Phuket's
west coast but do not wish to talk about them is equally puzzling.
Rumors, gossip, false reports and needless
fears are put to rest in only one way in the 21st century: by health bodies
being absolutely transparent and making public safety and health issues
their one and only priority.
In all cases,
this means truthfully telling people what's happening.”
Not sure what
this is all about.
The PMBC and
health officials should be applauded for the initiative that follows on from
recent similar installations in Satun Province and the hard work of locals on
Kohs Mak and Kood.
Are they not
telling us the real reasons for the installations? Is any data on jellyfish and
sting numbers on Phuket available? There does not seem to be any made public.
There must be something somewhere as the Bangkok bean-counters wouldn’t be
paying for this for nothing.
Or are officials
concerned that not everyone will stand up and cheer? There’s big money, high
stakes and a lot of shit that goes down on Phuket. Are they perhaps a little
fearful of putting their name to something that could be perceived as scaring
The lack of
transparency is a concern as stated by Phuketwan, it follows on from the head
in the sand mentality that existed – still does to a point – pre-2009. If news
of a fatality or serious envenomations were to hit the headlines; indeed, if
they were shown to have occurred and consequently covered up, Phuket would be
in big trouble. Potential for panic.
Anyway, there are
as of January 2013 11 new dangerous jellyfish signs and vinegar poles installed
on Phuket’s beaches. Hopefully they will be left to serve their purpose of
protecting beach users and not defaced or damaged or destroyed.
Great work PMBC,
but please speak up adhering to your advertised objectives (in English) of
conducting studies, educating and raising public awareness. We’d love to hear
from you. As would the vast majority of the people most at risk on these beaches
who do not log on to your website and do not speak Thai.
The signs by the
way are in Thai and English.
The beaches are Patong
and Sirinath National Park near Phuket Airport (2 stations) and single stations
at Nai Yang, Nai Thon, Bang Tao, Surin, Kata, Kamala, Karon and Nai Harn.