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Ciguatera Toxin Stalks Florida Reef Fish

It's the most common marine toxin in the world, but many aren't familiar with the all-too-common ciguatoxin. Even less well known are the severe—and often bizarre—neurological symptoms that accompany exposure. 

Aside from gastrointestinal distress, ciguatoxin can also cause dizziness, numbness, uncontrollable itching, even an inability to differentiate between hot and cold. In rare cases, it can even be fatal. 

Tuesday at 1 p.m., FGCU research biologist  Dr. Mike Parsons explains how ciguatoxin enters the food chain, why it afflicts Florida's reef fish, and what fish to avoid. He'll be joined by graduate student Adam Catasus.

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Red grouper
Kim "Kohaver" via Flickr Creative Commons /
Red grouper

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.