Posted By: sailboatjoe

Cigaterra? - 07/10/04 04:01 AM

I keep seeing photos of large reef fish caught, like grouper, snapper and barracuda. I assume someone is eating them. I'm wondering if cigaterra is a conern there. I've caught and eaten lots of barracuda further north, around Playa del Carmen, and further south, in the Sapodilla Cayes. No problem so far. I'm going to be in AC soon. Looking forward to catching dinner as I sail along. Any areas I should avoid?
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Cigaterra? - 07/10/04 12:01 PM

Ciguatera is not considered to be problem in the waters of Belize. All of the fish normally considered to be a risk for ciguatera, barracuda, jacks, snapper, grouper, etc. are commonly eaten in Belize. This is not to say there cannot be an isolated instance, but for the most part there is very little cause for concern.

PS: just in case some of you don't know what we are talking about: Ciguatera results from the eating of reef fish affected with ciguatoxin. Ciguatoxin originates from a dinoflagellate name Gambierdiscus toxicus which colonizes coral beds. The toxin first affects the coral-grazing fish and is then passed up and through the food chain to the piscivorous fish (i.e., snapper, grouper, amberjack, barracuda) and finally to man. The toxin is not affected by either cooking or freezing, and the affected fish, cooked or raw, is not tainted by bacteria in any way. Typically, the victim states, "It was the best fish I ever tasted."
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: Cigaterra? - 07/10/04 02:44 PM

A few people at a rotary function on Caye Caulker got it a few years ago.
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Cigaterra? - 07/10/04 03:09 PM

Don't take this as doubting your words, Katie Valk. But are you sure it was ciguatera. When the algae that fish get it from is present in the waters, there is usually more than just a few people that get it. Also, I was a Rotarian in my past business days, attended Rotary at many places and ate a few meals that didn't set well. Uh oh, now I will have the Rotarians upset with me. :rolleyes:
Posted By: captjeff

Re: Cigaterra? - 07/10/04 03:45 PM

bywarren there you go ,upseting the whole freakin rotary club .but your right ,my brother,it is rare in this local area..maybe it was homeless cuda,from the bahamas,who moved here from the north side of walkers caye ????? think so ??????
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Cigaterra? - 07/10/04 04:00 PM

There is a lot of cases of various food poisons that ciguatera gets blamed for. My totally unscientific view of this is that if the algae becomes present in the waters, with as much fish and various kinds of fish that is eaten in Belize, there would be many more reported cases. I might have said what could be viewed as contradictory statements when I first stated that there could be some "isolated" cases. What I meant to infer was that there could be isolated times when the algae would appear thus causing people to become sick with ciguatera.

Let's not wrongly add one more to the lists of problems with our paradise. wink
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: Cigaterra? - 07/12/04 10:12 PM

Yes, diagnosed. When hot feels cold and cold feels hot. About 10 people got sick, some couldn't eat fish for 6 mths and more.
Posted By: son of a son

Re: Cigaterra? - 07/12/04 10:21 PM

I was there last year at the end of August/ beginning of September and it appeared that the Cudas looked bent in the middle. Is Cigaterra what causes that or is that from me drinking too much punch?

Seriously, There's about a three foot Cuda that tools around Patojo's pier and he/she had that look about him/her. They told me it was from them eating the reef fish during that time of the year.
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Cigaterra? - 07/13/04 12:03 AM

Once again, KV: please don't take this as questioning you. I am only curious about these kind of things, enjoying fishing and eating fish as I do. But as far as I know, there is no way to diagnose ciguatera. Yes, you can presume based on the symptoms, but those same symtoms occur with other kinds of food poisoning. Just my inquirering mind. smile
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