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 shellfish poisoning and amnesic shellfish poisoning. Marine toxins are naturally occurring chemicals.
Diagnosis of marine toxin poisoning is generally based on symptoms and a history of recently eating a particular kind of seafood. Laboratory testing for the specific toxin in patient samples is generally not necessary because this requires special techniques and equipment available in only specialized laboratories. If suspect, leftover fish or shellfish are available, they can be tested for the presence of the toxin more easily.
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.