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post #2 of Old 05-16-2003
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Fishing in Caribbean

My general rule of thumb is Tuna species (no mackerel, particularly Kings), Dolphin, Wahoo. DO NOT eat Barracuda. Read up on Ciguatera and the occurrence of same in your cruising ground. Pelagics don''t seem to carry it (Tuna, Dolphin, Wahoo). Be prepared to cut your lures off if you hook up a big billfish (Marlin, Sailfish, etc.). If you want to eat snapper and the like, know the size range of the species and eat the smaller ones (less likely, since they havent'' been around long enough to accumulate appreciable levels a ciguatoxin). Maybe I''m being somewhat alarmist, since I have''nt had it, but I have friends that have. Northside of the Virgin Islands - O.K. for most species. Southside of the Virgin Islands DON''T EAT ANYTHING other than dolphin, tuna, wahoo, although, again, I have by limiting it to 10" mangrove and red snapper - things like that. Big fish ( of that ilk) more likely to carry it. Some areas of whence you speak have had incidents of poisoning. A couple years ago a small Domincan work boat with 8 or 9 aboard (like a little cargo thing) came into Charlotte Amalie Harbor full bore. The cap had caught a BIG barracuda, cooked it up and fed the crew. Only the engineer didn''t eat any, and for some unknown reason, didn''t know how to stop the boat. All others were in various throes of convulsion. EMT''s and Marine Patrol sent out fast inflatable, caught ''em, jumped on and stopped the boat before it got to Main Street (which is a couple hundred feet behind the waterfront). Crew was all treated and released, but Ciguatera is with you for life. Read up on it, but don''t get too alarmed, just be aware. KW
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