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Which fish are poisonous?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2005
Hi expats!

I do spearfishing since several years in the waters of Thailand and Indonesia.I also talk to locals often to learn more about the different species.
Here my question now: Is there any good website where I can find out,what kind of fish are poisonous to eat??
I ask this while remembering an article in an Indonesian newspaper about some local fishermen who died after eating a very poisonous "fugu" fish.
Though they grown up in that envireronment,they didn`t know !

Thank`s for your answers...glassfish :naughty
I think you're pretty safe it you stay away from any sort of blowfish. Of course, blue ring octopus are to be avoided, but I doubt that anyone would try to spear one, they're too small. Up this way, we are careful with bottom-dwelling rockfish. The one we call "sculpin" have really sharp pectoral fins and gill covers and their slime definitely to be avoided. Paleagics seem to be universally safe.

Be carefull with pelagics!!! In some area's they have high concerntration of mercury in them. Watch out for ciguatera. A test kit is available to see whether fish found in the tropics are fit for human comsumption.

Poisonous = ingested toxin (usually attacks stomach lining or bowels, possibly nervous system)

Venomous = injected toxin (usually a nerve poison). Marine toxin of this type are usually protein based, so hot water can be used to treat the wound.

Ciguatera = marine algae aka dinoflagellates (dont say it Sven!) produce ciguatoxin which accumulates in fish flesh. Its a toxin that goes for the nervous system. Possibly can be absorbed through the skin as well.

Poisonous fish in the tropics usually belong to the Tetraodontidae family. Commonly known as the Pufferfishes.

Venomous fish include the Scorpaenidae family, aka Lionfish, Stonefish and Scorpionfish.

Species which can carry ciguatera include the Balistidae and Monocanthidae families (Triggerfish, Filefish and Leatherjackets), as well as any large predatory fish such as Coral Trout, Barracuda, Spanish mackerel, Red Bass and Chinaman fish. The bigger the fish, the bigger the risk.

Best course of action would be to get a Fish ID book for the area you are diving and fishing, and check out those family of fishes.
sinkweight said:
Miles, does the test kit test for all types toxins and poisons?

Ciguatera test kits work only for the Ciguatera toxin, and are expensive to boot.

Believe me, when you get stung by a Scorpionfish, you dont need a testkit to tell you! Major pain involved... :rcard
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