Latest Stories

BFAR renews warning vs. eating puffer fish


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines— “Puffer fish toxin is 100 percent more potent than cyanide.”

This was the warning issued by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources following the death of two fishermen who had dined on puffer fish, locally called “butete”, on Wednesday.

According to a police report, Randy Algodon, 32, and Rodrigo Pioquinto, 53, ate puffer fish for dinner on Wednesday. Two hours later, they started vomiting and were rushed to a small hospital and then to the   Zamboanga City Medical Center where they expired.

Asis Perez, BFAR national director, said the death of the two fishermen here on Wednesday underlined the fact people continue eating puffer fish although they know doing so could be fatal.

“Puffer fish contains toxins that are more potent than cyanide,” Perez told the Inquirer by phone.

He said that in Bicol, dried puffer fish is even sold in the markets despite a crackdown by the authorities.

“We have been issuing warnings and advisories and even conducted confiscations of dried puffer fish in Bicol and some other areas because butete is very poisonous,” Perez said.

He said the BFAR has also monitored deaths in Quezon from puffer fish consumption.

“The number of deaths is growing and we need to remind our folks that it is very dangerous to eat butete, even dried ones,” Perez said.

Rosella Contreras, head of the Fish Inspection and Quarantine Services of BFAR in Western Mindanao, told the Inquirer that puffer fish is a delicacy in some communities despite the risks associated with it.

She said Badjaos, a sea-faring tribe in Mindanao, are known to feast on puffer fish.

“They know how to remove the toxin. Only the Badjaos are expert in this,” Contreras said.

In Japan, puffer fish, which is known there as fugu, is also a delicacy and chefs would make sashimi out of its meat. But only certified fugu chefs are allowed to prepare the fish for consumption.

Francisco Cadiz Jr., chief of the BFAR’s information office in Western Mindanao, said puffer fish discharges a toxin as soon as it is caught.

“The fish excretes toxin as defense mechanism and it is very poisonous,” Contreras said.

Science journals list puffer fish, which belongs to the tetraodontidae family, as the second most poisonous vertebrate after the golden poison frog.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Fisheries , News , Poisons , Puffer fish , Regions

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7FDDNRT65UQX2MA463JWDZZRMA drifter

    matalap kati! :P

    • http://dadsi-mamsi.blogspot.com/ Playstation

      Penge nga kami…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QZZKXPEA67I7HELEIYM35QVYFA Jon

    Wala na kasing makain ang kawawang Pilipino.
    Kapait sa patalim na lang para lang mapalamanan ang kumakalam na sikmura. 

  • delpillar

    BFAR should have scientists who should not be ignorant about puffer fish.
    There are some species na pede pang linisin at tanggalin ang lason. Yung ibang species ng Puffer fish na wala na talagang pag-assang
    matanggal ang poison ay i-identify ng BFAR at bigyan ng pictures ang mga

    Ang Japan in the beginning, ay di katulad ng Badjao sa skills ng paghanda ng FUGU.
    Pero pinag-aralan nila ito at meron silang training para sa gustong matuto.

    Imbes na pagbawwalan ay pangunahan ng BFAR ang training sa mga mangingisda sa kanayunan kung paano lutuin at kainin ito. But of course ang first and foremost ay on how to identify which specie ang pede pang linisin pr pede pang tanggalan ng lason.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  2. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  3. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. Solons seek ample protection for bank depositors
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Tragedies at sea: The Sewol and the Costa Concordia
  10. Santiago: Gigi Reyes is Enrile’s fall guy
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • 2 suspected victims of summary execution found dead in N. Cotabato
  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken ferry in Korea
  • Aquino: ‘Doubting Thomases’ now contributing to PH recovery
  • Fire engulfs apartments in Sampaloc
  • Messy warehouse belongs to Unicef, WFP, says Soliman
  • Sports

  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace