The IOC Intergovernmental Panel on Harmful Algal Blooms (IPHAB) recognizes that extensive human suffering from benthic microalgae Gambierdiscus induced Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP); 1 in every 4 persons in the Oceania region, half that number in the Caribbean; and significant social and economic impacts, especially in tropical, small island developing states. Furthermore there is emergence of Ciguatera events in non-tropical areas which contribute to a potential global increase in CFP and other seafood poisoning due to climate change, coastal developments and globalised seafood trade;

The IPHAB has also noted the significant global social and economic consequences of unrecognised, under reported and unchecked increases of CFP, and the absence of CFP toxin standards and validated detection methods.

The IPHAB urges that the relevant Member State agencies develop the capacity to monitor for Ciguatera-causing organisms, toxins, contaminated seafood and the epidemiology to reduce the risk associated with benthic HABs;

The IOC is cooperating with the IAEA, the FAO and the WHO in an effort to combine the capabilities of each agency on CFP and that of ecologists, toxin chemists and medical researchers into a joint CFP Strategy to:

  1. Develop a coordinated Ciguatera strategy
  2. Improve organism detection and sampling strategies
  3. Improve toxin detection
  4. Improve epidemiological data collection, reporting and assessments

See folder with documents, publications and papers pertaining to Ciguatera here.

LINKS to Ciguatera related projects and activities:

2018 FAO-WHO call for data and experts on Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) to fisheries authorities, relevant institutions and agencies, both calls can be found in the following links:

WHO/FAO  CFP food safety webpage:

 Ciguatera Online – Institut Luis Malardé


Ciguatera site of the US National Center for Environmental Health’s Health Studies Branch

Ciguatera Fact Sheet: The US FDA provides information on the nature, diagnosis, susceptibility, and analytical data on Ciguatera poisoning …

Gambierdiscus wiki

The IOC has a list-server for HABs in the South Pacific as a service to the community and as a means to facilitate communication. Subscribe here: and send messages to the list to

About CFP treatment (compiled by Clémentine Catel Ellasos)