Poisonous ‘Stone Fish’ found in shallow waters
A poisonous reef fish has been discovered in the shallow sea areas of Sri Lanka and the people have been warned and advised to be vigilant.
There have been several incidents reported of people being stung by this reef fish species and admitted recently to the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital.
Senior Lecturer Dr.Janaka Ruben from the Parasitology Department stated that this poisonous fish species has been identified as ‘Gonmaha Stone Fish’.
This highly poisonous stonefish is mostly found on the sandy or rubble areas of reef flats, shallow lagoons as well as in small pools during low tide times, Dr. Ruben said speaking to media.
He also said that these fish cannot be seen easily as they stay mostly camouflaged in the water and sometimes covered with algae due to the slow movement of the fish.
These fish have several spines on their back which are ingested with poison that can harm those who come in contact with them, Dr. Ruben said.
He further said that the main reason why these poisonous fish come closer to the shore is for breeding purposes.
Dr. Ruben warned the public to be extremely cautious when bathing in the sea or going into shallow sea areas requesting people to wear slippers while sea bathing.