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Hundreds Of 'Evil-Eyed' Fish 'Deadlier Than Cyanide' Found On Beach In Cape Town

Published by Nairaland on Sat, 03 Apr 2021

<blockquote><b>Tess Gridley, from Sheffield, was walking with her family on Muizenberg Beach in Cape Town, South Africa, when she encountered hundreds of stranded evil-eyed pufferfish</b><br><br>A British expat has discovered hundreds of stranded evil-eyed pufferfish - each armed with a poison more deadly than cyanide.<br><br>Tess Gridley, from Sheffield, encountered the mass stranding at Muizenberg Beach in Cape Town, South Africa, while walking with her family.<br><br>Now the South African government has identified the creature as the lethal evileye pufferfish and warned locals to steer clear.<br><br>Dr Gridley, a scientist who moved to Africa in 2009, estimated that hundreds had washed up.<br><br>The beach is 200 metres from our house and we were on a family walk, she said.<br><br>I can't say how many were there as I only looked in a small areaI was with my kids and dog, and prepping for fieldwork so it was a short visit.<br><br>But if you did count it would have exceeded hundreds.<br><br><img class=img src="https://i2-prod.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article23811471.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_PAY-PNEVILEYE04.jpg"></img><br><br>In a statement, South Africas Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries said the species carried a killer neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin.<br><br>Its a poison more lethal than cyanide and it causes death by respiratory failure after paralysing the diaphragm.<br><br>The ministrys statement read: The fish mortalities in False Bay are exclusively of the evil-eye pufferfish with counts of 300 to 400 dead fish per km of shore.<br><br>These dead fish all carry the deadly neurotoxin tetrodotoxin and should not be eaten; death comes usually by cardiac arrest.<br><br>Beach dog walkers are strongly advised to keep their pets away from them. If ones dog does eat whole or part of a pufferfish, immediately induce vomiting and rush your pet to the vet.<br><br>One dog has been killed as a result of the mass stranding already, according to the AfriOceans Conservation Alliance, a local NGO.<br><br><img class=img src="https://i2-prod.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article23811474.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_PAY-PNEVILEYE01.jpg"></img><br><br>Meanwhile, the cause of the incident remains a mystery.<br><br>Previous mass strandings have been caused by red tidesan algal bloom that changes the waters colour, and which produces natural toxins.<br><br>However, the ministry statement notes that there are no reports of any adverse water conditions or red-tide toxins that may have caused this.<br><br>Its also possible that the fish were blown to shore after puffing themselves up, either during a mass courtship or as a response to big waves.<br><br>In any case, Dr Gridleywho studies marine life as part of the Sea Search organisationbelieves the public has a part to play in future strandings.<br><br><img class=img src="https://i2-prod.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article23811472.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_PAY-PNEVILEYE10.jpg"></img><br><br>Keep a look out and report what you see, the mum-of-two said.<br><br>Don't be alarmed, these events happen from time to time in natural systems.<br><br>There is now an important role for citizen scientists in reporting these events through social media. We are learning a lot more about the marine environment these days from such reports.<br><br>If possible, collect photos and videos which can then help to identify species, and offer interesting insights into whats living in our oceans.</blockquote>Source: <a rel=ugc href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/hundreds-evil-eyed-fish-deadlier-23811499">https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/hundreds-evil-eyed-fish-deadlier-23811499</a>
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