It is a protogynous hermaphrodite, meaning it begins life as a female and changes to a male as it matures. It is treatable in humans, but the concern is that ciguatoxin can move up the food chain via bio amplification and spread to other species.
The peacock grouper became established and populations expanded on Hawaiian reefs, but local consumers lost interest after a number of cases of human neurological disease were traced to ciguatera poisoning linked to the species. The researchers took samples from nearly 300 fish, hoping to find patterns in geographical location, size or condition that would allow them to predict which populations or individuals were safe for human consumption.
But we have an imported grouper species all throughout the main Hawaiian islands called the ROI or peacockGrouper. This fish was imported to Hawaii in the 1950s from French Polynesia and since then has spread to almost all the Hawaiian coral reefs.
Where it occurs naturally in Tahiti it sells for up to $8 a pound and is a prize dish in the local restaurants. Even though this 20-inch long fish is now very common in Hawaiian waters and easy to catch it is not often eaten by the local community.
Then the ROI just gulps it down with its large mouth and series of hundreds of small bristle like teeth. If it contains ciguatera you would have some kind of mild stomach reaction within three to five hours according to the finding from the UH study.
Catching the ROI for food is a good sustainable food source that helps our coral reefs and maybe we can lower the populations to help our native fish species, but each person who chooses to eat them really needs to be cautious and not eat a large portion of the fish right way until you know it is safe. The ROI are extremely beautiful fish to look at, and they may or may not have white bands on their blue and brown smooth skin.
Toucan see the ROI in action in my video The Worlds Guide to Hawaiian Reef Fish up on my underwater educational web page at www.underwater2web.com and also follow my marine life identification series on my Instagram at terry.Villa. ROI or peacock grouper, were introduced into Hawaii in 1956 from Mo'area to add to the food source for Hawaiian fishermen.
ROI spend most of their time in deep caves and cracks in the reef where they prey on other fish like allowed, Memphis and Ala'hi. I also make movies for schools, government agencies and the public about our marine life and invasive species like ROI, ta'ape and to'Au.
I have observed several large ROI that seem to stay near the same caves, but they will move when the surf changes or you scare them away. In Canada Bay from the shore out to one mile I have done over 100 kayak scuba dives and I have speared over 80 ROI of which I sent to UH for testing.
This concentration of ROI vs native fish is very dangerous for the long term health of our reefs. Ten years ago at many spots on the north shore like Tunnels Reef, I have seen many of the native fish decline and the ROI spread.
Fishermen do not normally eat the ROI because they have been known to carry the ciguatera toxin, and they could make you very sick! The current test kit for ciguatera is not extremely accurate and cost a lot.
If UH could make a good test kit that cost little then fishermen could go back to catching and eating ROI. Free divers can target certain species without damaging the reef or marine life.
Some scientist claim that ROI take the place of Ulna as a top predator. If we spent more time and money studying Ulna, UK, Mile and other predators and develop additional plans to increase their populations, then we would be returning our reefs to a healthy state.
Using an invasive species to repair a damaged ecosystem rarely if every work! Roi could also carry bacteria that are not native to Hawaiian waters. I did an underwater movie about Kauai's free divers, and they are very good at what they do, and they understand the ocean and marine life quite well.
Rising sea levels, run off, improper building, polluted rivers and over use of certain reefs by tourist cause much more damage to our coastal ecosystem than fishermen do. As scientist, we need to work with fishermen, divers, surfers, hunters and other native people as they are “the eyes on the reef” we need to learn from and share with.
We do not have time to fight over regulations as the sea is changing quickly, and we all need to join together and share our knowledge and efforts. Actually toucan find various grouper fish in the market and all of them are good to eat.
But of course, another reason why the grouper fish itself is very popular is because they have very delicious taste that people love the most. Still, you wondering whether this food fish is actually good to eat or not despite their delicious taste.
Do not worry as we will discuss more on the benefits that we will give here so you will know whether this food fish is good for you to eat or not. If you want to know, are grouper fish good to eat when you are on tight diet, then you should know the calorie amount that you will get.
Through consuming a portion of this food fish, then you will gain 100 calories which comes from three ounces of the raw meat. Especially as this food fish has high protein inside the content which is very beneficial for your body.
This can really help you to determine are grouper fish good to eat or not as the protein content itself has various benefits for your body. Some benefits are to repair damaged tissue as well as to help to build your body muscle mass.
Next benefit is that this food fish is able to help you to keep your heart from various diseases. The reason is that inside the grouper fish, you will be able to find omega 3 content.
High level of those three substances inside your blood is very dangerous as it can threaten your heart health. This is why if you consume this food fish, then you will be able to help in keeping your heart from getting various diseases.
Another thing is that this food fish is able to keep your heart to be healthier because of the magnesium content that it has. The best benefit might be because inside this food fish there is vitamin D content which toucan get for your health.
It is beneficial as it can help you to fulfill your needed content which actually able to prevent various diseases and makes you become healthier. Thus, by learning those benefits then you will be able to determine are grouper fish good to eat or not.
I’ll never be able to eat grouper again, and after you read this, I think that you should consider not eating it as well to protect yourself, family and friends from ciguatera poisoning. Within 20 minutes I was affected, and within 6 hours I was sick as the proverbial dog.
The burning, itchy rash did not appear till the next morning…by that time the upset stomach part was subsiding, but these other problems…what was going on? As to the other bizarre symptoms, he said that he had no idea and that I should concentrate on stopping the diarrhea.
The reason that my doc had no idea is that this is a fairly unknown disease in the U.S. except for South Florida, BUT, it’s getting more prevalent in our country as more fish species are being imported and waters around the world are becoming warmer. Other culprits besides black, yellow fin and dusty grouper are: barracuda, amber jack, king mackerel, cuber snapper, dog snapper and hog fish.
If you would like to read more information about ciguatera written in a more scientific way, toucan read this from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and also this warning from the World Health Organization. Here is a very comprehensive essay by Professor J. Learn, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Australia on the neurology of ciguatera.