St Maarten finds local lionfish tainted with toxin

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Associated Press

Posted on November 24, 2011 at 10:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 24 at 11:05 PM

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — A conservation group in St. Maarten is warning islanders not to eat invasive lionfish after tests found a naturally occurring toxin in the meat.

Nature Foundation chief Tadzio Bervoets said Thursday that nearly half of the lionfish caught in local waters have a biotoxin that can lead to ciguatera poisoning, a rarely fatal condition caused by eating subtropical and tropical fish predators that live near reefs and accumulate toxins through their diet.

The discovery has nixed plans in St. Maarten to eat lionfish to slow their expansion throughout the Caribbean, where they are harming the delicate web of undersea life.

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