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Author Topic: Hazardous Mediterranean Fish.  (Read 6367 times)
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Arti2
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« on: November 22, 2008, 11:18:40 CET »

This topic is meant to show which are the fish that are dangerous which can be encountered during fishing.

Weevers and the Stargazer.

The most hazardous of all are the TRACHINIDAE group,that is Weevers and the Stargazer.
The TRACHINIDAE group consists basically of four species which are:

a) Maltese:-Sawt
    English:-Lesser Weever
    Italian:-Tracina Vipera
    Latin:-Echiichthys  vipera 


This Fish reaches a total length of 10 to 20 cms. The orbital margin is spineless and of a yellow-brown colour and it has white abdomen. The caudal fin is edged black. The first dorsal fin is also black and contains five venomous spines. An opercular and venomous spine is also found at each side of the gill covers.
The lesser weever is littoral and benthic, living on sandy, muddy bottoms, ranging from a few meters deep to 150 m (in winter). Resting on the bottom, its position can be described as with eyes buried and the tip of the first dorsal fin exposed. Because of its poison and its occurrence near beaches, it is considered to be one of Europe's most dangerous weever species. There are venom glands located on its first dorsal fin, which is completely black, and on the gill cover. This species has the most potent toxin of all the weevers.



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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2008, 11:30:02 CET »

b) Maltese:-Sawt Kbir
    English:-Greater Weever
    Italian:-Tracina Drago
    Latin:-Trachinus draco


This Fish reaches a total length of 20 to 40 cms. The color of its body is a greenish yellow or lime, to dark green and brown, on the head and back, with pale sides, and with yellowish to bluish-brown oblique lines and it has white abdomen.

The greater weever's body is elongate, tapered, laterally compressed, with a large head, and length up to six times its height. The upper rim of the eye has two to three small open spines, in front of each eye.

Its pectoral fin is rounded with a notch. On the first dorsal fin, both of the spines, and that of the gill covers, have venom glands attached to them. The spines are grooved, and when pressed, toxin is driven up the grooves. Care is needed due to the poison causing localized discomfort and swelling, which can occasionally cause death. The wound should be allowed to bleed freely, to help expel toxin, and then may be treated with potassium permanganate solution, or very hot water. The toxin in the venom is thermo-sensible which is deteriorating from 40 ?C, in the event of being bitten by the greater weever, put hot water at the site of the sting and move as quickly to the hospital for treatment. Medical help should be sought.

The mouth is huge and is set obliquely. The eyes are placed toward the top of the head. The dorsal fin is blackish. The second dorsal fin, and anal fins, have a yellow stripe running their length.

The greater weever, like the lesser weever, is found on muddy, sandy or gravelly bottoms, from a few m to about 150 m. It usually rests on the bottom, with eyes closed often, and the tip of the first dorsal fin exposed. At night, they swim around wanderously, even pelagically, feeding on crustaceans,shrimps and crabs, as well as smaller fish.



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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2008, 11:41:11 CET »

c) Maltese:-Tracna Tal-Fond
    English:-Starry Weever
    Italian:-Tracina Raggiata
    Latin:-Trachinus radiatus


Length from 20 to 40 cms. There are two spines on the orbital margin. The first dorsal ray is coloured black and again has six poisonous spines. It has one venomous spine on each operculum. The second dorsal has twenty five rays and the abdominal has 27 or 28 thus distinguishable from the Trachinus draco. The colour is black / yellow or brown / yellow. It is adorned with black blotches which congregate in groups on the lateral line. The head is red/brown or purplish/brown. Abdomen white.


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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2008, 11:48:38 CET »

d) Maltese:-Tracna Tat-Tbajja
    English:-Spotted Weever
    Italian:-Tracina Ragno
    Latin:-Trachinus araneus


The length is from 20 to 50 cms. The shape of its body is long and laterally flattened, the mouth almost is vertical in the head.  The first dorsal has seven spines which are venomous and connected with a black integument. There is one prominent poisonous spine on each opercular gill cover. The colour at the dorsal fin is dark red / grey speckled with black. The flank is grey / yellow adorned with 6 to 7 rounded black blotches. The abdomen is yellowish / white.

The spotted weever lives close to the bottom down to about 100 m. It is of minor commercial importance. It inhabitates at shallow waters to about 100m depth near rocks and sea grass near by, burrowing in the bottom. Just as other weevers, it feeds on small fishes and crustaceans.




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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2008, 12:02:05 CET »

The weevers live in sandy sea bottoms or muddy shores. They spawn in the hot summer months, when they bury themselves in the sand or mudsurf, leaving erected the black first dorsal ray equipped with the venomous spines well visibly exposed. When the fish is disturbed, such as when accidentally treaded upon they become aggressive and defend themselves by stinging the unwary intruder with their needle sharp spines. The araneus species can be found in water even 100 metres in depth. The smaller weevers tend to come inshore and can be found in water only a few inches deep. They can be caught by anglers, but more commonly by the various netting methods and trawlings. Spearfishing a weever constitutes a real hazard, as the injured fish becomes very aggressive and its removal from the spear is rather tricky and difficult as regards avoiding self injury.

The Trachinidae remain alive out of sea for quite a long time and one has to remember that their spines remain poisonous even after the fish dies. It is therefore quite a usual practice for the spines to be cut and removed by fishermen or fishmongers as a precaution both to themselves and to their customers. The culinary food value of weever and commensibility is quite good.
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2008, 12:13:17 CET »

e) Maltese:-Zondu
    English:-Atlantic Stargazer
    Italian:-Pesce Prete
    Latin:-Uranoscopus scaber


The head of this fish is very robust and cuboid in shape. The fish is not laterally compressed but tapers at the tail and has a rather flat white abdomen. The eys are conspicuosly on top of the head (looking at the stars!), hence its scientific name. The big mouth cleft is virtually vertical. There is one spine on the dorsal aspect of each operculum. The first dorsal is small, black and spineless. Its colour is small, black and spineless. The second dorsal has 14 to 15 rays. Its colour is dark / brown or blackish with yellow / grey or brown / grey flanks. The Stargazer reaches a length is about 15 to 25 cms. Its habitat is muddy sandy sea bottoms and it can be found at depths up to 100 metres. Its culinary food value is rather discrete.

This fish takes a very long time to die when out of the sea even after many hours in a refrigerator. Practically all the Maltese fishermen I have interviewed told me that its spines are non-venomous. However, most authoritative books say that the spines are venomous, thus it is perhaps the ones around the Maltese shores that are non-venomous. In view of the fact that it belongs to the weever family I feel that these fish should always be handled with care as it is always better for one to be safe than sorry.



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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2008, 12:20:47 CET »

The sting of a weever is acute and intense. The pain frequently is radiated to the area around the limb.The seriousness of the pain reaches its peak thirty minutes after the sting, and then slowly decreases. However, some pain (or other sensation, such as a tingle) may continue to affected the area for up to twenty-four hours. Very rarely, pain can be propagated to the tributary lymph nodes, i.e. those in the groin (when the sting is on the sole of the foot), or those in the armpit if the sting is on the hands).

The best first aid is to reassure the patient of the relative harmlessness of the sting, to wash the wound, and then to immerse it in hot water for at least an hour, in order to ease the pain and help break down the toxin.

So be careful when swimming in sandy beaches or shores.


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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2008, 21:51:49 CET »

English - mediterranean barracuda.
Maltese - Lizz.
Italian - luccio marino.
Scientific name - Sphyraena sphyraena.


The barracuda's body is elongated. Its mouth is equipped with very sharp teeth, having the lower jaw longer than the upper. The length of the adult Mediterranean species varies between half to one metre. Its second dorsal and anal fins are practically equal in size. Its colour varies from black to dark / green with a lighter coloured silvery abdomen.



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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2008, 22:35:23 CET »

English - moray eel.
Maltese - morina or murina.
Italian - murena.

Being long and snake-like, this fish is easily distinguishable. It has a shiny black skin which is speckled prominently with golden / yellow large spots. These are at times also coloured greenish or white. When disturbed, it becomes ferocious. Its mouth is equipped with many sharp teeth and when it bites it does not easily let go. It can grow up to one or two metres. Its blood when fresh can produce toxic symptoms both in animals and human beings. Its bite can also produce toxic manifestations and can take quite a few days to heal. When cooked up to 75 degrees Celcius the toxin looses its poisonous properties.

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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2008, 23:00:39 CET »

To add a couple of notes with regards to the sting of a weever is acute and intense. The pain frequently is radiated to the area around the limb.

The principles of treatment for both weevers and scorpion fishes is quite the same and therefore will be dealt with at this stage. These consist of:

a) Alleviation of pain.
b) Counteracting allergic manifestations, and
c) Prevention of secondary infections.

One has first to explain that as soon as he is stung, the victim experiences a sharp prick-like sensation as Arti2 explained above which immediately starts increasing in severity-totally unlike a prick say with an ordinary sewing needle. The pain moreover starts spreading proximally along the limb. In the same way as allergic stings, a red swelling appears in the area involved. Depending on the amount of poison delivered by the fish, general manifestation can also occur in the form of rapid pulse beat, sweating, general malaise and even collapse. At times pain is also felt across the chest - reminescent of heart pain. It is known that the poison is toxic both to the heart muscles and to the nervous tissues. To alleviate pain quickly once you reach ashore/unless on onshore allready & visit a qualified physician.They can threat the puncture wound immidiately and infiltrate around it. Allergic manifestations are dealt with the usual antihistaminic drugs. In my experience the injection always given immediate relief, which is long lasting. The patient is encouraged to walk and take full normal activities. Cleaning the area with acriflavine and spirit beforehand and applying a simple elastoplast dressing helps to prevent secondary infection. A further course of antihistamies in tablet form for five days helps to counteract the allergic swellings. If the allergy is very pronounced corticosteroids should also be considered. It is obvious that such treatment should be done under the supervision of a qualified physician. Wink
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2008, 10:37:12 CET »

I would like to add another hazardous fish to the list. its the puffer fish. its doesn't sting but if eaten it is extremly poisonous, it is lethal. it is mostly caught while bottom fishing from the boat.  it isn't an indienous fish but it is beccomming very common due to tropicalization (the rise in temperature of our sea).  in some areas it has become very common and every time i go i catch one or too, so be careful, you may catch puffer fish too!!
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bigboy
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2008, 10:40:25 CET »

Guys you are forgetting the Sting Ray aswell. Its sting can be lethal if not treated immediatly at hospital. And they are very common in our waters even in very shallow depths especially in sandy areas
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SPITEC
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2008, 12:22:08 CET »

Really we should add the sting ray it's common in our seas.Good point bigboy.
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« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2008, 13:38:10 CET »

Also don't forget the Busuf. I stepped on one last summer and my foot was burning very badly.
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2008, 13:54:26 CET »

You can also add the (''cippullazza'' ''Red Scorpionfish'') Wich is quite commin in our seas and too has spikes under its dorsal fins and on its back wich are poisonis.
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