Marine toxins are naturally occurring chemicals that can contaminate certain seafood. The seafood contaminated with these chemicals frequently looks, smells, and tastes normal. When humans eat such seafood, disease can result. The most common diseases caused by marine toxins in United States in order of incidence are scombrotoxic fish poisoning, ciguatera poisoning, paralytic shellfish poisoning, neurotoxic
Marine toxins are produced by algae or bacteria and are concentrated in contaminated seafood. Substantial increases in seafood consumption in recent years, together with globalization of the seafood trade, have increased potential exposure to these agents. Marine toxins produce neurological, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular syndromes, some of which result in high mortality and long-term morbidity. Routine clinical diagnostic tests are not available for these toxins; diagnosis is based on clinical presentation and a history of eating seafood in the preceding 24 h. There is no antidote for any of the marine toxins, and supportive care is the mainstay of treatment.
There is no specific antidote for ciguatoxin or maitotoxin poisonings. Treatment is generally for specific symptoms and includes supportive care. Intravenous mannitol has been reported in uncontrolled studies to reduce the severity and duration of neurologic symptoms, particularly if given within 48 hours of the appearance of symptoms.
The first national survey of Australian wild-caught abalone was conducted between September 2012 and December 2013. The aim of the survey was to determine the presence of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), amnesic shellfish toxins (ASTs), and diarrhetic shellfish toxins (DSTs) in wild-caught abalone at levels above the current Codex marine biotoxin limits during the 2013 fishing season. Abalone (n = 190) were collected from 68 abalone-fishing blocks for which the combined annual harvest accounts for 80 % of Australian production.