Fear of poisonous fish worries residents in eastern province
The death of one of the two people who were hospitalized on suspicion of food poisoning after eating fish has raised concerns of poisonous puffer fish.
Last week, a fishmonger living in the eastern province of Van cooked a puffer fish, which he likened to the rockfish, with someone else, reportedly a baker.
The duo were taken to the hospital after experiencing extreme vomiting and loss of consciousness, but the baker lost his life despite medical intervention.
The authorities believe that the baker may have died due to the poison that this type of fish contains, called tetrodotoxin, for which there is still no antidote.
They also believe that the invasive fish came from the Mediterranean provinces of Adana or Mersin to the landlocked Van.
Pufferfish have invaded the Mediterranean waters by entering through the Suez Canal.
A nightmare for fishermen as they can easily cut through the fishing nets, pufferfish can also attack people and pose a great threat to the native species.
“The substance called “tetrodotoxin” is an extremely toxic ingredient. The amount of venom in it as much as two pinheads is enough to kill a person,” said Ahmet Aydın, a pharmacologist from Istanbul’s Yeditepe University.
Aydın noted that the pufferfish had venom in its skin, ovaries, reproductive organs and liver.
Following the incidents, the teams in Van city gave information about poisonous puffer fish during the inspections carried out at retail and fish stalls throughout the province.