Toxic sardines kill 20 in MadagascarBy RIVONALA RAZAFISON in Antananarivo | Wednesday, April 6 2011 at 17:33
At least 20 people have died while another 126 are in critical condition after consuming toxic sardines in Madagascar.
The incident occurred in the south-west town of Madagascar-Toliara where the victims ate sardines belonging to the Clupeidae family.
A similar incident was also reported in Sakaraha, about 130km away from the coastal area.
Health officials have taken some sardines for a detailed analysis at the Institut Pasteur de Madagascar in the capital Antananarivo.
On Tuesday evening, the country’s minister for Fishing and Aquatic Resources, Dr Hery Raharisaina, conveyed a message of condolence on behalf of the government to the bereaved families.
The government added that it would foot the medical bills of those still admitted in the hospital, besides sending 100 additional mattresses to Toliara since the regional hospital was already crowded.
Madagascar coastline, being the world's third biggest coral system, is a home to a variety of fish and marine species.
Research has shown that coral reefs are in advanced state of deterioration because of environmental degradation and climate change.
This degradation has resulted in the proliferation of the macro seaweeds that in turn intoxicate aquatic animals, which feed on them.
Mass food poisonings from sardines in Madagascar has always been in the news since 1930.
To stem this, there is usually a fishing ban in the entire Province of Toliara from November 1 to March 31 (during this period toxic seaweeds flourish) following a decree enacted by the government in 1965.
But due to poverty and food shortage, communities living along the coastline often ignore the ban, hence the deaths.
- Why Obama is visiting Tanzania
- Somalia lists 1,345 foreigners in Mogadishu
- The girl who met Gaddafi 'in hell'
- After Berlin Man, two reported cured of HIV in Kenya
- Botswana bans fruit and vegetable imports
- Kenyan call girls go high-tech
- Ethiopia's anti-female cut crusader honoured
- Another politician for the Kenya Cabinet
- Tough life for Eritreans two decades after independence
Beyond the ballot