Significance To Humans

Despite the extreme danger associated with collecting this species, there are commercial fisheries for both dead and live fish markets. In addition to their commercial fishery, stone-fishes make their way into the aquarium trade. The sting of the stone fish is extremely painful and is followed by rapid swelling around the wound. The severity of the response is related to the depth of the penetration by the spines. The treatment of the wound consists of bathing the stung area in very hot water until the victim can be hospitalized. For more serious stings, it is often advisable for stonefish antivenin to be given intramuscularly. The stonefish antivenin is composed of purified antibodies against stonefish venoms and venom components. These antibodies are harvested from laboratory animals, which are given small doses of the venom. Eventually, these animals build up a tolerance to the venom, which allows them to produce the large quantity of venom antibodies required for the antivenin. ♦

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