Several pufferfish species belonging to the Tetraodontidae family are currently present in the Mediterranean Sea. Since 2013 Lagocephalus sceleratus is increasingly reported also along Italian coasts, where other two species of less concern, Lagocephalus lagocephalus and Sphoeroides pachygaster, have also occured since a long time. This study represents one of the first attempts to sistematically describe the occurrence in the Mediterranean, and in particular along Italian coasts, of the three aforesaid species, in order to characterize an emerging public health hazard. Reports were searched in scientific articles and dedicated online databases. The following data were collected: number of specimens and type of record, geographical location and date of report, fish size, depth and type of seabed. Overall, at least 111079 individuals of the three species were found in the Mediterranean Sea, including 110237 specimens of L. sceleratus (since 2003), 126 of L. lagocephalus (1878–2017) and 716 of S. pachygaster (1979–2017). The evident differences confirm the invasive character of the toxic Lessepsian immigrant L. sceleratus, the species of main public health concern. Despite this species was recorded along Italian coasts in low numbers (0.08% of the total individuals of L. sceleratus) and its current distribution is limited to southern regions, the picture could change rapidly. Moreover, the collected data show that most L. sceleratus specimens have a large size and are mainly caught by commercial fishing gears. These factors may increase the risk of this species entering the seafood chain with serious consequences for consumers’ health. Results suggest that the presence of L. sceleratus should be strictly monitored. Institutional measures should be implemented to inform people as regards a new hazard that has the potential to affect the Italian seafood chain.

Toxic invasive pufferfish (Tetraodontidae family) along Italian coasts: Assessment of an emerging public health risk

Guidi, Alessandra;Armani, Andrea
Ultimo
2018-01-01

Abstract

Several pufferfish species belonging to the Tetraodontidae family are currently present in the Mediterranean Sea. Since 2013 Lagocephalus sceleratus is increasingly reported also along Italian coasts, where other two species of less concern, Lagocephalus lagocephalus and Sphoeroides pachygaster, have also occured since a long time. This study represents one of the first attempts to sistematically describe the occurrence in the Mediterranean, and in particular along Italian coasts, of the three aforesaid species, in order to characterize an emerging public health hazard. Reports were searched in scientific articles and dedicated online databases. The following data were collected: number of specimens and type of record, geographical location and date of report, fish size, depth and type of seabed. Overall, at least 111079 individuals of the three species were found in the Mediterranean Sea, including 110237 specimens of L. sceleratus (since 2003), 126 of L. lagocephalus (1878–2017) and 716 of S. pachygaster (1979–2017). The evident differences confirm the invasive character of the toxic Lessepsian immigrant L. sceleratus, the species of main public health concern. Despite this species was recorded along Italian coasts in low numbers (0.08% of the total individuals of L. sceleratus) and its current distribution is limited to southern regions, the picture could change rapidly. Moreover, the collected data show that most L. sceleratus specimens have a large size and are mainly caught by commercial fishing gears. These factors may increase the risk of this species entering the seafood chain with serious consequences for consumers’ health. Results suggest that the presence of L. sceleratus should be strictly monitored. Institutional measures should be implemented to inform people as regards a new hazard that has the potential to affect the Italian seafood chain.
2018
Guardone, Lisa; Gasperetti, Laura; Maneschi, Andrea; Ricci, Enrica; Susini, Francesca; Guidi, Alessandra; Armani, Andrea
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
FOODCONT-D-18-00305R1 (1).pdf

solo utenti autorizzati

Descrizione: Revised manuscript with cover letter and responses to reviewers
Tipologia: Documento in Post-print
Licenza: NON PUBBLICO - Accesso privato/ristretto
Dimensione 1.86 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.86 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
Revised manuscript 923449.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Documento in Post-print
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 986.35 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
986.35 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/923449
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 14
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 11
social impact