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RandyB_Villareal - these toxins in fish species the most...

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BIO 101C PRESENTATION SUMMARY Randy Bayas Rb25493 21 September 2007 Dr. Villareal. 12 September 2007. Harmful Algal Toxins An important environmental issue that currently under study is that of harmful algal toxins and ciguatera. These harmful algal toxins and ciguatera can have lasting effects on our ecosystem, such as: fish kills, shellfish mortality, seabird mortality, marine mammal mortality, human toxicity/chronic illness, anoxia, and light shading. One example of human toxicity/chronic illness is the influx of ciguatera fish poisoning in the Gulf of Mexico. Ciguatera fish poisoning produces gastrointestinal, neurological, and cardiovascular symptoms. The toxin that is involved is the ciguatoxin, which grows on corals, oil platforms, and sargasum weed. This toxin is injested by fish around these “reefs,” and is then amplified exponentially up the food web. Dr. Villareal studies the occurrence of
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Unformatted text preview: these toxins in fish species, the most common being the Great barracuda ( Sphpraena barracuda ). Before 1999 there was only one reported case from a barracuda, today there are 10 – 20 new cases found each year. According to Dr. Villareal, the increase in artificial reefs is the current explanation for the drastic increase of ciguatera fish poisoning. Dr. Villareal’s experiments are important to the scientific community by providing evidence that supports his hypothesis that the unnatural development of reefs in the Gulf of Mexico cause a growth in population of the ciguatoxin. Two questions Dr. Villareal asks are 1. Is this increase in 2007 a fluke or real change? 2. Why are we seeing ciguatera in populations of grouper which were never reported before? His hypothesis for these two questions are: 1. Sea surface temperature changes 2. Increase habitat (platforms and artificial reefs)...
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