A spotted sea snake found stranded, emaciated and with head and neck injuries.
A spotted sea snake found stranded, emaciated and with head and neck injuries.

DANGER: Deadly snakes washing up on beaches

DOZENS of venomous sea snakes are mysteriously washing ashore causing potentially deadly hazards on our beaches.

Snake catcher Jaimi Raveneau said the majority of snakes, many of which were dead or clearly sick, had been found on Dundowran Beach and at Toogoom.

Some had also been seen at other locations including Scarness beach.

Ms Raveneau said the trend started with a call from a person saying they had come across two sea snakes on a beach last week. Several more calls have since followed.

Sea snakes are highly venomous and Ms Raveneaur said it was important not try and help them back to sea or go near them even if they appeared dead.

"It they are still alive, they could feel threatened and they can and will bite," she said.

Ms Raveneau said native sea snakes did not ordinarily come to shore, so if they washed up they were sick.

She said while the odd snake did wash up on local shores at this time of year, it was very rare to see so many.

"Even in a regular year when more stranded sea snakes come in it's never in these numbers," Ms Raveneau said.

Natalie Richardson from Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast said sick snakes were taken into care and could recover given the opportunity.

She said she had heard reports of the abnormal number of sea snake strandings involving several species.

"It's not a common stranding, it's not something we get into care super often," she said.

"It is concerning to see that volume of animals."

Ms Richardson said one woman had seen six sea snakes watched up during a walk on the beach and took photos, but the snakes weren't reported until days later.

That left no opportunity for trained carers to help the snakes and often decomposition meant the loss of any chance to collect a specimen to examine the reptile and find out what had caused the stranding.

She urged people to report any sightings of stranded sea snakes, whether they were dead or alive.

"If they're on the beach, they're not on the beach to eat you, they are in trouble."

Ms Richardson also warned members of the public against well-intentioned interfering.

"Sometimes they can seem lifeless but they're not," she said.

If you see a stranded sea snake, whether it is dead or alive, contact Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast on 4121 31 46.