Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thousands of UK holidaymakers stung by the country's most poisonous fish 'The Weever' -

More than 1,000 UK holidaymakers have been stung by the country’s most poisonous fish, the weever.

Government scientists at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) have found that numbers of the venomous fish are on the increase around the coast – and with more people expected to holiday at home this summer, the amount of incidents are expected to rise.

Weevers have always been a hazard in the South-West but this year, people have been stung as far afield as Hastings on the South Coast and Scarborough in North Yorkshire.

Marine experts blame the spate of cases on warmer sea temperatures caused by the spring heatwave.

Daisy Slater, aged seven, fell victim to the weever earlier this year. She was paddling in a sand pool on Fistral beach in Newquay when she suddenly cried out in pain.

Her father Matt spotted two tiny black pin pricks on her foot and rushed her to the lifeguard station, where kettles are constantly kept boiling to treat the stings with hot water.

Mr Slater, who runs the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay, said: ‘Daisy was lucky because the weever was small, but the sting is very powerful.
‘Weevers are definitely on the increase. I caught some the other day for the aquarium and I counted 70 in one small pool on the beach.’ Source