Monday, February 22, 2016

BFAR confirms goby fish toxic in Camarines Norte
By John Mark Escandor

NAGA CITY, Feb. 20 (PNA) -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) confirmed Friday that the goby fish eaten by three children who died on Feb. 9 in Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte was positive to Tetradotoxin or TTX.

Nonie Enolva, BFAR Bicol public information officer, said the Department of Health Toxicology Center in Legazpi City has confirmed through a text message that the samples collected from the leftover the victims ate showed positive to TTX.

Enolva said there was no known antidote or cure to the TTX poisoning, which is more potent than sodium cyanide.

She identified the children who were poisoned and died from eating goby as siblings Mark Veejay, 7, John Rommel, 6, and Jessarel, 2 -- all surnamed Galeon.

Their father Valentino, who caught the goby in the sea of Jose Panganiban, and another son John Christopher, 5, have been treated at and discharged from the Camarines Norte Provincial Hospital, Enolva added.

The BFAR official said the symptoms of poisoning from goby fish include numbing of the lips, stomachache, paralysis, chest pain, drop in blood pressure and loss of breathing 3-30 minutes after ingesting the fish.

With the recent deaths from goby fish poisoning, the BFAR has issued a warning regarding the permanent prohibition of the catching, selling and eating of goby locally known as biya, palo or tambagoy.

Enolva describes the poisonous goby (Gobius criniger) as a thorny fish with narrow body, two dorsal fins, round-pointed pectoral fins, brownish-red body color and silvery below, and 3-4 large dark or blackish brown spots on its side. (PNA) RMA/FGS/JME/CBD/ssc