Thursday, 10 December 2015

Salema porgy - Sarpa salpa (Linnaeus, 1758) - Cyprus

Sarpa salpa, known commonly as the salemasalema porgycow bream or goldline, is a species of sea bream, recognisable by the golden stripes that run down the length of its body, and which can cause hallucinations when eaten. It is found in the East Atlantic, as well as the Mediterranean, where ranging from the Bay of Biscay to South Africa. It has occasionally been found as far north as Great Britain. It is generally common and found from near the surface to a depth of 70 m (230 ft). Males are typically 15 to 30 cm (6–12 in) in length, while females are usually 31 to 45 cm (12–18 in). The maximum size is 51 cm (20 in).
Sarpa salpa became widely known for its psychoactivity following widely publicized articles in 2006, when two men ingested it at a Mediterranean restaurant and began to experience many auditory and visual hallucinogenic effects. These hallucinations, described as frightening, were reported to have occurred minutes after the fish was ingested and had a total duration of 36 hours.
Ichthyoallyeinotoxism, or hallucinogenic fish poisoning, is common in other species of fish but not in Sarpa salpa, which is not normally psychoactive. It is, in fact, often served as a dish at seafood restaurants in the Mediterranean area. It is believed that the fish ingests a particular algae or phytoplankton which renders it hallucinogenic. The effects described are similar to those of indole tryptamine psychedelics..From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Underwater photo Cavo Greco  by Costas Constantinou

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