Borneo Post, 4 Feb 2013
KOTA KINABALU: Two men have died after eating a poisonous species of sea cucumber in Sabah’s northern Kudat district.
State Fisheries Department director Rayner Stuel Galid said the deaths were due to the consumption of a species of sea cucumber known locally as pelanduk laut and unrelated to the red tide poisoning.
“We tested the specimen and found that the sea cucumber has its own toxin,” he said.
The men, aged 51 and 54, died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here on Thursday after they became ill from eating the sea cucumber during a meal with four other people at Kg Suangpai in Kudat.
It is learnt that the two men, who had suffered from severe vomiting, numbness and breathing difficulties, were initially treated at the Kudat Hospital on Wednesday before being transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here.
Two others who took the same meal were also treated in Kudat but they had less severe symptoms.
The toxic sea cucumber, which has black and purple dots, is found in Kudat’s Marudu bay.
Two people have so far died from red tide poisoning in Sabah since it first occurred off its shores in November in a phenomenon that is expected to last until June.
The red tide phenomenon is triggered by a deadly algae bloom, which produces toxic or harmful effects to marine life and turns the water red.
Daily Express, 3 Mar 2013
Labuan: Fisheries Director Zainudin b Hj. Abd. Wahab said Red Tide poisoning was detected in Labuan waters as of 11.40am Friday near Pulau Papan which is 600m from the island. He said the survey made by the Fisheries Department found the area enclosed by the Red Tide was about three to four hectares. Samples sent to the fisheries laboratory in Likas found that the Red Tide is of the Pyrodinium bahamense var. compressum kind with a very high concentration reaching 473,600 cells/liter and this is known as “Algae Bloom”. The level considered dangerous to humans is 5,000 cells/liter. Very high concentrations will cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) of the muscles that can cause death. The Department expects the Red Tide to last for about two weeks. Chances are the red tide will be swept away towards Pulau Daat, Menumbok, Sipitang and Lawas, he said.
The public, especially Labuan residents, are advised not to eat sea products such as snails, shells and fish, especially small pelagic fish like selayang/basung and fish kembong/rumahan during the red tide season. Fish caught outside of the three nautical miles (kembong and basung), should have their gills removed and the fish washed well before cooking. The department also noted that the “bubuk” shrimp season had started in waters adjacent to Tanjung Kubung up to UMS. It is recommended that fishermen do not take and consume them because of fears of being contaminated by the Red Tide, he said.
Source: Daily Express