THE Department of Marine and Coastal Resources issued a urgent warning to the public to avoid buying and consuming the venomous blue-ringed octopus as even grilling does not destroy its poison with this coming after a vendor was found selling its skewered meat, Thai Rath newspaper reported today (Nov. 30, 2020).
The department posted the warning on its Facebook page after Ms. Chantra Poomcham found that a shop selling grilled squid in adjacent Pathum Thani province had also grilled the meat of this highly venomous octopus for sale.
The department’s research institute said grilled squid is delicious and even more so when dipped in a tasty sauce. However vendors have to carefully sort out seafood before cooking for sale and buyers too should beware.
This highly dangerous octopus can be identified by blue and black rings across its body. Importantly, its poison can tolerate up to 200 degrees Celsius heat and normal grilling will not destroy it with there also being no antidote for treatment.
According to Wikipedia, blue-ringed octopuses, comprising the genus Hapalochlaena, are four highly venomous species of octopus that are found in tide pools and coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian oceans, from Japan to Australia.
They can be identified by their yellowish skin and characteristic blue and black rings that change color dramatically when the animal is threatened. They eat small crustaceans, including crabs, hermit crabs, shrimp, and other small animals.
They are recognized as one of the world’s most venomous marine animals. Despite their small size—12 to 20 cm (5 to 8 in)—and relatively docile nature, they are dangerous to humans if provoked when handled because their venom contains the powerful neurotoxin tetrodotoxin.
The species tend to have a lifespan of approximately two years. This can vary depending on factors such as nutrition, temperature and the intensity of light in its habitat.
Top: The blue-ringed octopus grilled for sale at a shop in Pathum Thani. Photo: Thai Rath