Skip to main content

Safeguarding recreational fishing in NSW from ciguatera fish poisoning

Project Member(s): Murray, S.

Funding or Partner Organisation: NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW Department of Primary Industries Fisheries)

Start year: 2014

Summary: This project will provide an assessment of ciguatoxins present in recreational fishing species in NSW, enabling deciding organisations to set size limitations and avoid further human intoxication events. Ciguatera fish poisoning is a seafood-borne illness caused by consumption of fish that have accumulated ciguatoxins (CTXs), which are naturally produced by marine microalgae (Gambierdiscus spp). It is well known from Queensland, with more than 1000 cases in the past 15 years, including 2 fatalities, despite only ~20% of cases reported. Internationally, at least 90 different species of fish have been found to be contaminated with CTXs. These may impact both commercial and recreational fishing, ie ~ 1 million recreational fishers in NSW. We will benefit the recreational fishing community by providing certainty that they can be confident about which fish are likely to be safe for consumption. We will determine the first information on CTX occurrence in NSW, information which is needed to produce evidence-based guidelines on which species and size limits are appropriate in NSW. This project could be of indirect benefit to the commercial fishing sector, in particular, the Sydney Fish Market. For this reason, we will apply to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation Tactical Research Fund ¿ round June 2014 - to get additional funding, as indicated in our budget.


Murray, SA, Ajani, P, Kretzschmar, AL & Verma, A 2017, 'Response to "More surprises in the global greenhouse: Human health impacts form recent toxic marine aerosol formulations, due to centennial alterations or world-wide coastal food webs".', Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 123, no. 1-2, pp. 415-417.
View/Download from: Publisher's site

Murray, SA, Kohli, GS, Harwood, DT, Laczka, O & Boulter, M Fisheries Research and Development Corporation 2016, Safeguarding seafood consumers in NSW from ciguatera fish poisoning, no. ISBN 978-0-646-95465-3, pp. 1-51, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

FOR Codes: Environmental Science and Management, Other Chemical Sciences, Fisheries - Recreational