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Ciguatera

Ciguatera fish poisoning is a serious problem in Hawaii. The poison is found in many reef fish. Poisoning is caused by a toxin produced by the marine micro organism Gambier discus toxicus, which attaches to seaweed that is eaten by reef fish. The poison accumulates when reef fish are eaten by larger fish and then eaten by humans. None of the deep sea fish such as Tuna, Marlin, Mahi Mahi and Wahoo have been found to carry the ciguatera fish poison.

ULUA

Mature Jack

Length over 5 feet

Weight up to 120

ROI
KAKU

Barracuda

Length up to six feet

Weight up to 70 pounds

Grouper

Length up to 20 inches

Weight up to 5 pounds

PALANI

Surgeonfish

Length up to 18 inches

Weight up to 3 pounds

PAPIO
PO'OU
KOLE TANG

Juvenile Jack

Length up to 4-8 inches

Weight up to 10 pounds

Wrass

Length up to 2 feet

Weight up to 2 pounds

Surgeonfish

Length up to 7 inches

Weight up to 1/2 pound

If Ciguatera is Suspected:
  • Call your doctor immediately

 

  • Save any uneaten portions of the fish for testing

 

  • Call Hawaii Department of Health               Epidemiology Branch

 

  •  (808) 933-0912 Hawai'i  

  •  (808) 241-3563 Kaua'i    

  •  (808) 984-8213 Maui

  •  (808) 586-4586 O'ahu

To Avoid Ciguatera Fish Poisoning, you should:

 

  • Know the most common types of reef fish that carry the poison

 

    Know that any reef fish can carry         the poison

 

  • Avoid eating fish caught in areas where ciguatera poison have occured

 

  • Clean fish very well

 

  • Eat only small portions of large fish that might be suspected to carry the poison

 

  • Do not eat the roe (eggs), liver or guts because they have levels of the poison.

 

  • Know that this poison cannot be destroyed by cooking, freezing, smaoking, salting or drying it.