Poisonous “rabbit fish” surrounded Cyprus

A silver hareheaded pufferhead, which local fishermen call also a rabbit fish, is seen off the coast of Limassol.

For the first time the fish-rabbit was found in the waters of Cyprus in 2004 year. As a rule, these fish do not attack a person, since they are with him in different weight classes and live far from the shore. This year, the population of rabbit fish has reached a critical number and flocks of these predators can be found on city beaches.

It is assumed that the puffers entered the Mediterranean from the Red via the Suez Canal. Since then, the population has grown, and in the Cypriot waters “rabbit” is found quite often. “Lagokefali” destroys fishing nets and fish nurseries. In order to reduce the number of fish, the Cypriot government has developed a special program for fishermen. The caught fish-rabbit was handed over to the state for a reward – 2-3 euro per kilogram.

In Europe, fugue is prohibited in restaurants, but European legislation does not prohibit the export of lagakefali. In this regard, the Cypriots tried to establish trade relations with Japan, China and Korea on the sale of Mediterranean puffers.

The Japanese tradition of eating such a dangerous delicacy is not due to unearthly taste, as it is commonly believed. It’s all about the narcotic effect of microscopic doses of poison on the human body. The venom of the neuro-paralytic action, tetrodotoxin in the minimal doses causes something like “tetanus”. Resistant to temperature effects, the toxin very quickly decomposes in the human body. The art of the cook is to accurately dose the poison.

We do not recommend you to try this fish. Meat is quite tough. To chew it, fish cut into thin slices and served with spicy sauces. Every year, from poisoning by fish dies from 10 to 100 people.

Recall that in April 2014, two tourists from Paralimni poisoned after consuming this fish. Mother and son were sent to the hospital in Nicosia, where the patient was diagnosed with a heart attack, after which she fell into a coma, her son’s condition was assessed as extremely difficult.

Important facts:

  • Rabbit fish – poisonous fish
  • This is an extremely aggressive species, displacing the indigenous inhabitants of the Mediterranean Sea
  • physicians do not have an antidote against the poison of the silvery hare-headed puffer


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *