Task Team on a Global Inter-Agency Ciguatera Strategy for Improved Research and Management

Terms of Reference:

  • Organize an international expert meeting to prioritize sub-tasks of each element of the strategy, where one output of this meeting should be a position paper on a prioritized action plan and a plan to secure funding; this will be conducted in consultation with the FAO, IAEA, IOC UNESCO, WHO and national or international bodies or scientific organizations; as part of this expert workshop also explore the feasibility to develop a technical guidance document on food safety/security and ciguatera risk management, in cooperation with GlobalHAB and the RAMOGE Agreement, including the outcome of the IAEA Technical Cooperation Workshop, April 2018 in Monaco;
  • Regularly update an on-line database of ongoing projects to check whether the prioritized list of urgent requirements is being pursued through these projects and follow up on the project progress;
  • Pursue communication activities and seek funding for a website displaying the strategy, the above-mentioned project database and relevant links on the IOC web page on ciguatera;
  • Pursue coordination activities to develop and strengthen synergies through the cooperation of currently funded efforts in support of the Strategy;
  • Interact with ICHA organizers to solicit presentations on ciguatera research and stimulate the convening of special ciguatera sessions at relevant medical, seafood safety and security, and other scientific meetings;
  • In 6 months develop a succinct list of challenges, objectives and actions with respect to the Task Team topic that will address the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development objectives and challenges and to present these at an IPHAB intersessional on-line consultation September 2021 with a view to formulate an IPHAB strategic framework for UN Decade initiatives;


Urges that the relevant Member State agencies to support the implementation of the strategy through funding to implement the above activities and for needed research and development of the capacity to monitor for Ciguatera-causing organisms, toxins, contaminated seafood and for human health studies to identify and reduce the risk associated with benthic HABs;

Invites scientific organisations, institutions and international bodies to:

-consider supporting the further development of the scientific aspects and research priorities of the strategy; in particular to develop research toward establishing a solid link between algal toxins and fish toxicity in the Atlantic and Indian oceans for enhanced early surveillance and early warning of ciguatera; to prepare fish tissue reference material;

-provide the support needed to countries to maintain or further entries into the OBIS, HAEDAT and INFOSAN databases on worldwide occurrence reports of Gambierdiscus/Fukuyoa spp and ciguatera events;

-conduct method validation exercises as well as inter-laboratory exercises on benthic HAB collection methods;

-conduct projects toward deriving acute reference dose for CTXs to support risk managers in defining guideline values for CTXs;

Requests that the IOC Secretariat and Member States make the CODEX Committee on Contaminants in Food (CCCF) and other relevant committees aware that IPHAB prioritizes efforts on Ciguatera,

Decides also that the Task Team will continue to be co-chaired by M. Chinain (France/French Polynesia), *M-Y. Dechraoui Bottein (Morocco) and P. Hess (France), and comprises E. Núñez Vázquez (Mexico), L.Al Solami (Saudi Arabia) and as specified in the Strategy. The Task Team is supplemented by international advisors and experts *M-Y. Dechraoui Bottein (Morocco), M. João Botelho (Portugal) and will be expanded, as required, to fulfill the terms of reference,

Notes that the Task Team will continue its work until otherwise decided by the Panel and that it will work by correspondence and/or meet on an opportunistic basis, and provide a progress report to the Chair of IPHAB prior to IPHAB-XVI.


Contact : 

Mireille Chinain, Directrice du Laboratoire des Biotoxines Marines, mchinain@ilm.pf