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Toxic sardines kill 20 in Madagascar

toxic-sardines-kill-20-in-madagascar

At least 20 people have died and 126 others are in critical condition after consuming toxic sardines in Madagascar’s south-western town of Toliara. A similar incident was also reported in Sakaraha, about 130km away from the coastal area.

The sardines were said to belong to the Clupeidae family (Order Clupeiformes), which includes many of the world’s most important food fishes such as herrings, hilsa, menhadens and shads. Researchers had previously blamed poisonous seaweed for making sardines toxic in similar incidents. (feww)


Changing sea conditions caused by climate change and pollution is believed to be responsible for poisonous seaweed proliferating among Madagascar’s coral reefs, home to numerous marine species, including sardines and many other types of fish.

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. (AfricaReview)

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