6 June 2024

The Marine and Coastal Resources Department has issued a public warning to exercise caution when buying grilled octopus or squid in markets, after grilled blue-ringed octopus was discovered in a market in Pathum Thani province.

The department’s director-general, Sophon Thongdee, said today that blue-ringed octopus is highly venomous and its venom cannot be neutralized by roasting or grilling. The venom, called Tetrodotoxin, is deadly and can kill a human being within a few hours, if they are bitten by the octopus.

Symptoms, if it is eaten, include numbness of the mouth and tongue, nausea, vomiting, changes in vision and difficulty swallowing. After about ten minutes, the victim may have difficulty breathing, become paralyzed and require artificial ventilation and immediate transportation to a hospital.  If medical care is not provided immediately, respiratory failure may occur, which can lead to cardiac arrest and death.

Sophon emphasized the need for urgent publicity, to warn members of the public about the dangers of the venomous octopus, and for them to report to the police, if they come across anyone selling grilled blue-ringed octopus.

He also said that Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Woravuth Silpa-archa has instructed officials to issue warnings about other poisonous marine species, which may be found on sale in the markets, such as puffer fish and certain venomous jelly fish.

Photo from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources