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post #1 of 16 Old 11-02-2009 Thread Starter
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Ciguatera Poisoning

Just curious how many of you have had this poisoning? Als curious how many of you cary test kits (or animals) to prevent it?

We are looking at some of the test kits, and tehy are VERY expensive. I think it is like $20 for three tests! Well, knowing my fishing skills, it may not be that expensive, but my kids might just be a little better than their old man!!! At any rate, I am curious how many of you experienced cruisers/fishers have avoided this disease and what you have done about it. I hope it will be a good topic for discussion.

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post #2 of 16 Old 11-02-2009
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how many of you cary test kits (or animals) to prevent it?
- CD
So that's what the bulldogs were for?
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post #3 of 16 Old 11-02-2009
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A few years ago 10 of us went to a restaurant in Barreterre. Two of us had chicken the rest fish. They all came down with ciguatera poisoning. We don't carry any kits. I've not met anyone that got it from fish that they caught themselves. Most of the fish we catch are pelagic so they're ok. When we spear fish they're usually too small to worry about ciguatera.

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post #4 of 16 Old 11-02-2009 Thread Starter
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So that's what the bulldogs were for?
Yep. Fatten her up on fish, and if she doe snot catch Coguatera, eat her!!!!

HEHE!

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post #5 of 16 Old 11-02-2009 Thread Starter
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A few years ago 10 of us went to a restaurant in Barreterre. Two of us had chicken the rest fish. They all came down with ciguatera poisoning. We don't carry any kits. I've not met anyone that got it from fish that they caught themselves. Most of the fish we catch are pelagic so they're ok. When we spear fish they're usually too small to worry about ciguatera.
Ieard you have to avoid black grouper in the bahamas? Thoughts? Those little kits are really expensive too. I can undersatnd why no one would want to buy them. Maybe just use the kits on really suspect fish, like large grouper or snapper/Mackrel?

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post #6 of 16 Old 11-02-2009
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Large fish that hang around reefs are the culprit. In the Bahamas the only place you find them now is in really deep water. Too deep for me! About 25 feet is my limit now and I can't stay down long enough to do much damage to the fish population. I have eaten some fairly large grouper that friends shot without any poisoning. They say jacks are bad and we don't eat barracuda although the locals do. Stick with lobster, you can't go wrong.

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post #7 of 16 Old 11-02-2009
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We met two people in the Bahamas who got it. One other person in their party came very close to dying from it, and they all get re-occurrences of it when eating random foods. From what I understand, avoid barracuda, black grouper, certain snapper and certain jacks, and large (older) predatory reef fish. We stuck to mackerel, mahi and smaller jacks and snapper (the fact that we never caught any larger fish other than mahi had no relevance )

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I just spoke with who I think was the head of their sales department for the people who make the test kit.

She said that it was easy to get a false positive, but they have never had a false negative.

THe process takes about an hour. You have to take about a rice sized sample from the flesh of the fish. You have to be very careful not to touch it with your hands, the skin of the fish, or use the same knife (apparently) that you have cut the fish open with. You then soak this in a vial for about 20 minutes, let it dry out, the put in another vial. The darker the blue, the stronger the potential for the poison. They say that any indication of blue is cause not to eat the fish.

The cost for the kits are: ~$30 for 3 tests, or $144 for 24 tests. SHelf life is about 6 months.

I am not a great fisher, but obviously I plan on catching more than 3 stinking fishes. I think the key is to only test fish that have a higher probability of the disease, like:

Snapper, Grouper, Amberjacks (esp Greater), and Barracuda and eels. SInce I will not eat the latter no matter what the test strips show, I will limit my tests to the species above (esp the larger ones).

Another option to save money is to have smoe friends over for dinner. Sushi anyone? Let them eat first. Give em an hour of excuses. If they're still standing, well... bon apetite!

Chris, when were you guys leaving for the Bahamas again? Anybody know if Sailindog is heading south?? Come on over and visit ole CD!!!

HEHE

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post #9 of 16 Old 11-02-2009
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Great. Now I have one more thing in the world to be afraid of.

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post #10 of 16 Old 11-02-2009
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Biz is holding me back right now... we're still in Haverstraw, NY. IF we get to the Bahamas, and even to FL, will depend on a number of variables that should work themselves out in the next 4 weeks. I know we'll be heading to MD sometime in the next couple of weeks because we have to (can't get stuck on the frozen Hudson), but beyond that I'm not sure yet.

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