Scare as deadly stonefish found at old port of Mombasa cityUpdated Monday, November 26th 2012 at 00:00 GMT +3
By Linah Benyawa
Visitors to beaches in the coastal city of Mombasa will now have to keep a watchful eye following the emergence of a stonefish.
Authorities have issued a stern warning saying the heavily poisonous fish has washed up the shores of Mombasa’s old port, occasioning a scare among fisheries authorities, swimmers and consumers.
Foreign and local tourists visiting the Kenyan Coast this festive season have been cautioned to be careful while at the beaches after the venomous species of fish was found at the sea.
Belonging to the marine genus Synanceia, the stonefish delivers a poison or neurotoxin that is fatal to humans through glands in its dorsal fin.
A fish biologist, Rashid Anam, warned on Sunday that this is “the most venomous fish in the world”, with its sting being highly dangerous and “known to cause death”.
Anam, a marine scientist at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Institute, warned on Sunday that the most vulnerable victims of the fish’s sting are swimmers because the stonefish is a master of camouflage.
He said most victims are reef walkers while clad in either flimsy shoes or without shoes.
“Those visiting the beaches should be very cautious and should not walk barefooted since the fish sometimes buries itself in sand and once stepped on, the sting is poisonous leading to death if one is not treated immediately,” he added.
On Sunday, fishermen at the old port of Mombasa netted the fish and immediately warned swimmers about the looming danger.
The fish, which had human-like features such as a nose, two eyes and a mouth, shocked locals.
- Balala ignores Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu, appoints taskforce
- NCIC report sparks anxiety on Taita Taveta, Kwale Counties boundary
- Arrival of 300 road runners boost to tourism
- Taita Taveta County to mark 100 years since first flight
- Kilifi County referral hospital land has been grabbed, Governor says
Characteristics of the stonefish
It is the most venomous fish known and is up to 35 centimetres long.
Synanceia are primarily marine, though some species are known to live in rivers.
Its species have potent neurotoxins secreted from glands at the base of their needle-like dorsal fin spines that stick up when disturbed or threatened.
The vernacular name of the species, the stonefish, derives from the stonefish’s ability to camouflage itself with a grey and mottled colour similar to the natural colour of stones. They often cannot be seen easily as they look similar to rocks or coral.
Swimmers may not notice them and may inadvertently step on them, triggering poisoning.
When the stonefish is disturbed, it may inject an amount of venom proportional to the amount of pressure applied to it.
1‘I went through so much stress and pain,’ popular actress opens up about her life Her role as ‘Olive’ in ‘Mother in law’ a local show could lead you...
2How to date a girl born in the 1990s Is it just me, or it is actually scary to imagine that a kid born in 1997 is now old enoug...
3Soldier from battle field who wanted to surprise wife finds her naked with another man A US marine who wanted to surprise his wife and daughter by returning home early from dut...
4Do I go for the man I love or the one who loves me? I’m in love with someone I’ve known for three years. We were together for a ye...
58 things that women really want from their husbands We took time to listen to women from different walks of life as they respond to ‘Wha...
1Suitors galore: Is the stunning Reverend Lucy Natasha looking for a suitor? A beauty to behold, many men seem to have been enchanted by her beauty with many even offering her h...
2Police launch hunt for attacker who raped woman in two separate incidences in one night Police are investigating the double rape of a woman who was attacked twice in one night by the same ...
3How to date a girl born in the 1990s Is it just me, or it is actually scary to imagine that a kid born in 1997 is now old enough to have ...
4Why men are afraid to date women in this age bracket For most bachelors aged 28-36, dating can be like walking on a field full of landmines. You don&rsqu...
5‘I went through so much stress and pain,’ popular actress opens up about her life Her role as ‘Olive’ in ‘Mother in law’ a local show could lead you to believ...
1My hubby proposed under a tree in second year- ODM Nominated Senator Dr Agnes Zani I somehow gave in to all he said. He later turned to be my husband. We walked along avenues before h...
2‘I went through so much stress and pain,’ popular actress opens up about her life Her role as ‘Olive’ in ‘Mother in law’ a local show could lead you to believ...
3Fans push Award winning singer, Eddy Kenzo, to marry baby mama Ugandan music fans are putting pressure on their award-winning singer Eddy Kenzo's baby mama Rema....
4Suitors galore: Is the stunning Reverend Lucy Natasha looking for a suitor? A beauty to behold, many men seem to have been enchanted by her beauty with many even offering her h...
5Singer Gwen Stefani and hubby Gavin Rossdale file for divorce after 13 years Gwen Stefani has filed for divorce from husband of 13 years Gavin Rossdale. The couple have three ch...