Strangely enough, many people aren’t reporting poisonous fish in recent times as often as they should. Fish such as barracuda and grouper can in some cases cause “cigatera poisoning” if eaten often, and if precautions aren’t taken.
This is because of the build-up of toxins known as CTX toxins. Many fish that live in reefs can have this toxin. These include surgeon fish, snapers, and so on. The reason why this happens is because the fish eat certain algae that can have the toxin in them. This is a common problem in ocean environments, but it’s usually reported when it comes to other toxins.
For example, the problem with mercury poisoning in tuna happens because small organisms get poisoned with the mercury being dumped into the oceans, and then larger fish eat those smaller organisms, and finally the large Tuna eat those fish. The same sort of process happens with CTX toxins only it’s not reported as much.
For example, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that only 10 percent of the cases where it occurs are actually diagnosed correctly. This obviously varies based on where the case happens. Florida, for example, has doctors that are more familiar with the CTX toxins since they encounter them more often so 68 percent of them tend to get it right according to the CDC. But the percentage dwindles quickly the further you get away from ocean areas where the fish are eaten on a more regular basis.
The problem is, that according to the CDC, more than 20 percent of 190 different kinds of fish in stores located in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey were mislabeled. This means that generally the only way to be sure is to try to avoid large predatory fish. This is because it is very difficult to test the fish beforehand for the toxin, and you can’t really be sure which is which because of the mislabeling problem.
As a result, it’s a good idea to avoid predatory fish when eating seafood. They are generally not particularly sustainable in any case. It would be hard to keep eating them in large amounts while having them continually regenerate populations since predatory fish don’t really rely on large populations as a strategy for survival.
This is important since, for example, one man in NY went from being active to barely being able to walk for several months after getting a dose of the poisoning.