IOC Sub-Commission

for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)


Marine Toxins and Seafood Safety (2010-2017)

It is known that some marine organisms possess natural toxins that cause food poisonings. They produce toxins by themselves or accumulate toxins from known and unknown origins. Some of them, especially protista, e.g. diatoms and dinoflagellates, transfer their toxins to other organisms through food web and make the predator organisms toxic. Consumption of such toxin-accumulated organisms causes food poisonings in people, and sometimes brings fatal events. This phenomenon is well known as fish and shellfish poisonings, in which shellfish and other filtered-feeders are changed to be toxic through ingesting the toxic protista. Other toxic marine organisms such as xanthid crab, horseshoe crab, blue-ringed octopus, marine snails, goby, and marine and freshwater puffers are also found in almost of all Asia countries.

Expansion of poisoning episodes caused by seafood contaminated by toxins gives serious problem to aquaculture activities as it causes big economic loss. Moreover, occurrence of poisoning changes people daily life. Some toxins are highly potent to cause human casualty. These poisonings occur mainly because of the lack of public awareness on food safety and appropriate knowledge in toxic aquatic animals. It is an urgent need for Asian countries to raise more awareness on nature of marine food organisms, especially those potentially causing healthy problem. In this project, we will publish two or three types of pamphlets to enhance the awareness of the general public, such as fisheries folks, school children and stakeholders on these toxic marine food organisms.


WESTPAC Scientists Develop Technical Guideline for Ciguatera Study

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WESTPAC Training Workshop on Toxic Marine Organisms, Tokyo, Japan

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References and publication related to Toxic Marine Organisms

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