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Safeguarding commercial fishing in NSW from ciguatera fish poisoning

Project Member(s): Murray, S.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Fisheries Research and Development Corporation RDC (Fisheries Research and Development Corporation - Tactical Research Fund RDC)
Nsw Food authority (NSW Food Authority Partnership Fund)

Start year: 2014

Summary: CFP is a seafood-borne illness caused by consumption of fish that have accumulated ciguatoxins (CTXs), which are naturally produced by marine microalgae (Gambierdiscus spp), and are not degraded by either freezing and heating processes. 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. No study has ever been conducted on the presence of CTXs in fish caught in NSW waters and knowledge about its distribution within Australian waters is poor. As We propose to undertake a well designed sampling and testing program for the presence of CTXs in Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson, S. munroi, and S. queenslandicus) caught in NSW. This will enable the revision of guidelines for the management of CFP in NSW.


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, Farrell, H, Harwood, T & Zammit, A 2016, 'Is ciguatera moving south in Australia?', Harmful Algae News, vol. 54, pp. 5-6.

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: Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of environments not elsewhere classified, Fisheries - Aquaculture not elsewhere classified, Plant Biology, Analytical Chemistry, Other environmental management not elsewhere classified