Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ciguatera blues...

The other day I was snorkeling to check my anchor and came across a rather large grouper in the process... Now grouper is one of my favorite fish but the ciguatera throughout the Caribbean makes the idea of reef fish of any sort a bit nervous making...

There has been a kit available (Cigua-Check) for around $30 that allows you to test three fish samples for the presence of ciguatera toxins but the company making it is currently back-ordered and is not accepting orders...

Which leaves us in the realm of taking one's chances and wishful thinking while keeping an eye out for such symptoms as...
  • Tingling, numbness, or stinging sensations around mouth, hands, or feet
  • Temperature reversal sensations (cold feels hot, hot feels cold)
  • Body chills, itching, headaches, perspiration, or dizziness
  • Muscle pains, weakness, cramps or joint aches
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
On the other hand, I could simply confine myself to pelagic species like Mahi, Tuna, and Wahoo and leave the reef fish alone... Which, since I'm not real big on vomiting and diarrhea seems like the most prudent course...

Which I am sure comes as good news to the grouper in question!

1 comment:

driftingson said...

I'm with you brother- stick to the pelagics. I release all inshore predators. Most fisherman around here (Hawaii) tend to say that anything under 10 lbs is fairly safe, and if in doubt, feed a bit to the cat! I can't bring myself to use my cats as test beasts, so I just practice a lot of catch and release with ulua and kaku.