Author(s): Neuwinger HD
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Abstract Fishing with the aid of poisonous plants was formerly very common in Africa. Today this easy and simple method of fishing is forbidden but still practised in remote areas. The poisonous ingredients are pounded and thrown into a pool or dammed sections of a small river. After a time which varies according to conditions the fish begin to rise to the surface of the water and can readily be taken by hand. In general, the fish can be eaten without problems. 325 fish-poisoning plants, spread among 71 plant families with 183 genera, are presented. The closely related groups of Caesalpiniaceae, Mimosaceae and Papilionaceae clearly dominate. It is also remarkable that a great proportion are Euphorbiaceae. The plants most used are Tephrosia vogelii, Mundulea sericea, Euphorbia tirucalli, Gnidia kraussiana, Adenia lobat, Balanites aegyptiaca, Swartzia madagascariensis, Neoratanenia mitis, Tetrapleura tetraptera and Strychnos aculeata. Many fishing poisons play an important part in the preparation of arrow poisons and in traditional medicine.
This article was published in Toxicon
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology