Fishermen in Antalya are concerned about an increase in the number of poisonous fugu fish in local waters. The other day, according to Turkish news portal Haberler, dozens of large fugu were seen literally fifty meters from the beach of Antalya’s Lara district. “You can’t even go in the water like this in summer,” the fishermen fear.
Fugu (Turkish for “balloon fish”) is the common name for ray-finned fish of the pufferfish family. The liver and roe of these fish, and to a lesser extent the skin, contain the deadly poison tetrodotoxin, which paralyzes the muscles and causes death by suffocation. In Japan, they are used to make the famous fugu sashimi, a cut of raw fish. The cook must be able to prepare the dish so that it does not contain poison. Every year, however, a certain number of people who eat fugu do die, since there is no antidote, and the only thing the medics can do is to try to support the respiratory and circulatory systems until the effects of the poison are minimized.