The Fisheries Ministry is aware of the recent cases of Balolo poisoning in Vanua Levu which is believed to have claimed one life.
Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau says sea worms or Balolo are handled and consumed before sunrise but once poorly handled, the worms melt and if consumed, can be harmful.
He is calling on the public to be cautious when consuming Balolo.
“This is very unusual, very unusual. Getting poisoned from Balolo has not been heard of. This is the first time I have heard of it. So I think it is an apparent lack of preservation of Balolo itself. They have it in stock, uncooked for a longer period of time and deterioration of Balolo itself could be poisonous.”
Koroilavesau says another reason why individuals may be affected is that there has been a history of fish poisoning.
He says if an individual suffers from fish poisoning, toxicity from the consumed fish remains in the body and if high toxic fish species such as Balolo are consumed, then it may prove fatal.