The Pacific CIGUAWATCH initiative

Although regarded as the most common non-bacterial seafood poisoning associated with fish consumption worldwide, Ciguatera Poisoning (CP) remains an unrecognized and thus poorly managed issue in most Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) where this disease is reportedly highly prevalent. 

Overall, CP case records are likely underestimated at a global scale due to several gaps and weakness in epidemiological data collection in existing reporting systems, which affect both the exhaustivity and accuracy of reports (surveillance programs and/or mandatory reporting exist only in a limited number of countries/regions, frequent misdiagnosis and misclassification of the illness, etc.). Local communities in PICTs, whose dietary and cultural habits, lifestyle and economy largely depend on marine resources, are particularly vulnerable to the ciguatera threat. However, assessing the real impact of ciguatera on these societies remains challenging, not to mention the environmental forcing drivers likely to exacerbate CP impacts. 

In this context it appears urgent to mutualize efforts and technical capabilities, and mobilize adapted tools and strategies towards the implementation of a more reliable and sustainable management of ciguatera across the Pacific region.

The objective of the “Pacific CIGUAWATCH initiative” is to provide an updated base knowledge on ciguatera as well as practical tools, comprehensive tutorials, technical and/or expertise support to improve CP risk management among Pacific island’s communities, in the form of an online platform allowing mutual assistance and data sharing in the frame of a regional network.

What will you find on this platform?

Access to various educational material and academic e-learning courses for an updated base knowledge on Ciguatera Poisoning, and the environmental and health risks associated with the proliferation of benthic Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) organisms.
Free online training on CP epidemiological surveillance and environmental monitoring 
Access to an online CP cases declaration application and a real-time, interactive map of fishing zones and species responsible for Ciguatoxic events
Shared database for traditional knowledge on ciguatera (identification of toxic fish species, traditional remedies, etc.
Shared public outreach and awareness material
Request for customized online support
Request for analytical services, expertise support or in-country training (for skill transfer) 

Do you want to contribute to the Pacific CIGUAWATCH initiative ?