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Old 22-07-2014, 15:22   #196
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Re: Can you Live off the Bounty of the Sea?

If ciguatera is reported in an area best to avoid all reef fish. Locals don't know what fish are safe so can't count on there advice. You don't want to get Ciguatera. A local couple in the Marquesas, there kids, and dogs all caught it. They were miserable and knocked out for a week. The dogs had it the worst. Not confirmed but a young girl on a cruising boat died while we were in FP. She took sick in the Tuamotus, not where she ate the fish, and was airlifted to Papeete. We found out later she'd died. It is not something to take lightly and getting poisoned sensitizes you to the toxin so it's worse each successive infection.

The Marquesas are the worst places for it. The Duke de Marquises expedition that discovered the islands in the 15th century were the first reported cases of the poison. We were complete fishing novices and caught what we thought was an Ono (Wahoo) off one of the Islands in the chain. Found out later that Ono don't have teeth but Barracuda do. Luckily didn't get poisoned as it was a big fish. The Lobster were great, however.

The Tuamotus, at least Rangiroa and Ahe don't have Ciguatera. Heard stories of fish on one side of a pass being infected and those on the other side being safe in the Societies.

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Old 22-07-2014, 15:59   #197
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Re: Can you Live off the Bounty of the Sea?

What colemj wrote is pretty much what we believed when we went through French polynesia the first time.

One problem is that ciguetoxin accumulates in one's liver, and then is only partially excreted over time. The effect of this is that one may already have a loading dose such that a low ciguetoxin fish can still produce symptoms. Sorry, but I don't know what factors influence an individual's responses to the toxin. Ciguetera poisoning was the single largest cause of deaths of adults in French Polynesia when we were through there.

As to safe species, the first time we were poisoned, it was a Spanish Makerel, quite a large one. The next one was a huge trevally, and the third, a less than one meter long young Spanish makerel that we caught in Belep, where they are "supposed to be safe", both by export to Noumea and by acceptance of steaks from it by local families. That final experience was what finally (must be a slow learner!) convinced me that our personal loading doses were high enough to just have to avoid any fish caught in New Caledonia, except for "vivaneau", which lives at about 600 ft., is expensive, and can be purchased at the fish market in Noumea. After all, even Capt. Cook's men got it there. Both Jim and I have been fortunate that our symptoms did not include the rapid drop in blood pressure that can be fatal and is only treatable by IV of mannitol.

newt asked how far from the reefs, well, I am pretty comfortable about fishing still 3 days out, for us, that's about 500 n. mi. I'll bring in the lures by 2 days out if Jim talked me into another day. It's like I'm aware that far out may be over-reaction. But there are those other big fish out there that would be a temptation.

Ann
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Old 22-07-2014, 17:06   #198
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Re: Can you Live off the Bounty of the Sea?

Why don't Tuna and dolphin get it? BTW thank you for the info Peter and Ann.
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Old 22-07-2014, 17:17   #199
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Re: Can you Live off the Bounty of the Sea?

They can, but it is unusual because they are not associated with reefs and eat things not associated with reefs. Lots of squid, flying fish and ballyhoo make up almost all of their diet.

Mackerel, jacks (trevally) barracuda and others like them move on and off reefs throughout their lives. They can be found way offshore, but can also have ciguatera in them from past times spent around reefs.

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Old 22-07-2014, 18:04   #200
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I'm not on my main computer to provide the link but Mrs Cate detailed their illnesses a couple of years ago. Worth looking up for newbies.
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Old 22-07-2014, 18:40   #201
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Re: Can you Live off the Bounty of the Sea?

Couldn't find the story of the Cates' illness, but did find a good post by Gord May with a lot of advice and good links for further reading on ciguatera:

CIGUATERA POISONING
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Old 22-07-2014, 18:40   #202
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Re: Can you Live off the Bounty of the Sea?

Blue Crab,

You may call me Ann if you wish. To me, "Mrs. Cate" is a tad formal for just a simple cruising woman; this is my hangup, not a criticism.

Ann
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Old 22-07-2014, 19:46   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Blue Crab,

You may call me Ann if you wish. To me, "Mrs. Cate" is a tad formal for just a simple cruising woman; this is my hangup, not a criticism.

Ann
Thanks Ann, will do.
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Old 23-07-2014, 07:39   #204
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Re: Can you Live off the Bounty of the Sea?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
One problem is that ciguetoxin accumulates in one's liver, and then is only partially excreted over time.
This is the issue for me. I'm avoiding reef fish entirely no matter what the locals say about safety from the toxin. No grouper or jack or any of the other fish listed in Gord's thread linked above.

Some risks just aren't worth taking to me.
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Old 23-07-2014, 08:23   #205
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Re: Can you live off the bounty of the sea?

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Yeah, .....if you want to glow in the dark and die young. Many fish store a lot of heavy metals and nasties in their bodies.
Im sure I read someplace you shouldnt have fish more than two meals per week?
Hubs and I eat fish at least 4 times a week, fish we catch, fish that is supposed to be heavy with mercury etc.- shark, grouper, tuna etc.

While having routine blood work done he asked the Dr. to check his heavy metals levels out of curiosity and to see if what I'd been saying "we shouldn't eat so much fish, it isn't healthy" was really true.

Test results showed levels way BELOW harmful and pretty much non existent actually. So I'm not sure where the hype comes from but I'm not a nay sayer any longer due to personal proof.
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Old 23-07-2014, 08:28   #206
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Re: Can you Live off the Bounty of the Sea?

BTW, all those links on Gord's note are outdated. May I suggest the following.
Medscape: Medscape Access
Ciguatera Fish Poisoning: Treatment, Prevention and Management
They seem to show Mannitol as having the most promise.
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Old 23-07-2014, 09:56   #207
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"biker6977"

Hubs and I eat fish at least 4 times a week, fish we catch, fish that is supposed to be heavy with mercury etc.- shark, grouper, tuna etc.

While having routine blood work done

Test results showed levels way BELOW harmful and pretty much non existent actually.




That's great ! I wonder if any other people that eat a lot of fish have had blood tests done and could tell us the results
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Old 23-07-2014, 10:14   #208
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Re: Can you Live off the Bounty of the Sea?

I read somewhere that the locals can tell if Ciguatera is present by rubbing on lips ,and will feel burning sensation if toxic.Cats are also used to test,feed cat first..
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Old 30-10-2014, 15:27   #209
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Re: Can you live off the bounty of the sea?

The guys name is Reid Stowe. He actually stayed at sea for over 1100 days. Survived a colision at sea, a transfer of his pregnant g.f., to a boat off of Austrailia, sprouts, rain water, and much derision from Sailing Anarchists. That's all i know. Fame and fortune escaped him, but fun to follow from my living room. Oh and he was on a self built ferro cement 70 plus schooner.
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Old 30-10-2014, 17:59   #210
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Re: Can you Live off the Bounty of the Sea?

I'm dumbfounded why Reid didn't get more respect. Seems like a pretty major accomplishment to me
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