A DEADLY stonefish – the world’s most venomous fish species – has arrived at Deep Sea World, Scotland’s national aquarium, this week.
Stonefish, which are also known as the goblinfish and the warty-ghoul, are so venomous staff have had to undergo specialist first-aid training and the fish will be kept under lock and key in a special display.
The venom is held in glands under 13 jagged spines running along the stonefish’s back.
The stonefish can kill a human with its back spines
The spines are so sharp they can pierce through a shoe and the fish had to be transported in a reinforced container. Deep Sea World’s Aisling Thornton said: “Swimming with three-metre-long sharks is a walk in the park when you compare it to the potential danger of these little fish. “Our aquarists are taking all necessary safety precautions and have had to undergo first-aid training.“The stonefish will initially stay in our quarantine area before going out on public display next week,” she added.
According to marine experts from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef: ‘The sting causes excruciating pain, and a great deal of swelling rapidly develops; causing the affected tissue to die. ‘The symptoms of the venom are muscle weakness, temporary paralysis and shock – which may result in death if left untreated.’ Anyone unfortunate enough to be stung is advised to elevate the affected limb and immerse it in hot water or apply a dry heat to the wound.
Every member of Deep Sea World’s zoological team has undergone specialist first aid training and instruction on how to handle the potentially deadly fish. Capable of surviving for up to 12 hours on land, the stonefish has even killed people out walking on the beach metres away from the sea.