Blue-ringed octopus warning, Bribie

Published 8:00am 8 December 2022

Blue-ringed octopus warning, Bribie
Words by Kylie Knight

Locals and visitors to Bribie Island are being warned to keep an eye out for dangerous blue-ringed octopus, after one was found last week.

The venomous marine creature was discovered by regular Bribie visitor Tim Shipstone.

"At first I thought it was a good live bait for a flatty for my Mum,” Tim explains.

“But he wouldn't let go until he was in my bait bucket, and then the rings all lit up with that incredible cerulean blue.

“I fish that spot a bit when I'm visiting, and kids are often stomping through the sea grass and around the coffee rock ledge at low tide."

Blue-ringed octopus like to hide in shallow pools and rocky crevices and measure only 6-10cm long. When threatened, their rings glow a striking blue to deter predators.

The venom of a blue ringed octopus is lethal - one octopus has the capacity to kill 26 humans.

A blue-ringed octopus bite may not hurt at all, but the victim can be paralysed or stop breathing. If you do happen to come in contact with a blue ringed octopus, it is important to phone 000 and get first aid.

First aid measures involve wrapping a very firm bandage around the area and a second over the entire limb and starting CPR if a person stops breathing.

State Member for Pumicestone Ali King says the discovery is an important reminder that while the region’s waterways are beautiful, some marine critters can be dangerous.

“I’m asking locals and visitors to take extra care when swimming and boating in the Pumicestone Passage and our beaches these holidays,” Ms King says.

Want to know more about blue-ringed octopus? Check out a story by our marine biologist Dr Dazza, here

Blue-ringed octopus warning, Bribie

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