Teen catches deadly stonefish at busy Coast boat ramp
THE WORLD'S most venomous fish has been reeled in at a Coast fishing hotspot; a stark reminder to be wary in the water.
The stonefish was reeled in on Sunday at the main boat ramp on Gympie Terrace, Noosaville.
The 14-year-old fisherman took a quick snap of their close encounter and sent it to a popular fishing page, Fishing Noosa, to spread the word.
The Australian Museum lists the stonefish as the most venomous fish in the world, and are found throughout Queensland and the northern half of Australia.
WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE
According to its website, the stonefish "has 13 stout spines in the dorsal fin which can inject a highly toxic venom... which causes intense pain."
Swimmers are usually stung on the feet as the fish burrow into the sand, camouflaged by surrounding coral, rocks, or plants.
The venom results in immediate and excruciating pain, and can cause "muscular paralysis, breathing difficulties, shock, and sometimes heart failure and even death," according to the Queensland Museum website.
"To prevent stonefish stings, sturdy footwear should be worn on reef flats, or while wading on soft-bottom substrates adjacent to rocky or weedy areas," the Queensland Museum website recommends.
"In the event of a sting, the victim should leave the water, apply first aid and seek medical attention as soon as possible."
Queensland Museum Ichthyologist (a zoologist who deals with fish) Jeff Johnson told the Daily that stonefish were common across the Sunshine Coast and in Moreton Bay and "always have been".
They may however be moving down river to areas where people frequent because of "dry conditions".
"You can find them virtually anywhere in a bay from time to time," he said.
"Estuaries are the hot spots. You don't normally find them in clean sandy swimming beaches."
His advice to stay safe if playing in rocky areas was to wear good foot protection.
"The thin rubber sole variety aren't ideal for stonefish as the spines penetrate through," he said.
"But they will provide better protection than bare feet."
Surf Lifesaving Queensland state operations support coordinator Jason Argent said there are probably lots of near-misses across the Coast thanks to the stonefish's effective camouflage.
"It can be very, very dangerous if you stand on one," he said.
"(The spines) will go through rubber thongs and things like that very easily.
"If they have been stung the best treatment is to get to hospital ASAP, so call triple 000 or see a lifeguard."