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Egypt Rejects EU Support to Fight Deadly Red Sea Fish Invading the Mediterranean

The venomous silver-cheeked toad-fish, which has no natural predator, started crossing from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal in 2003, carrying its neurotoxins into Maltese waters.

A poisonous species of fish believed to have entered the Mediterranean Sea, through the Suez Canal, was caught in Maltese waters last December. The EU Commission offered technical assistance on the issue but was rejected by the Egyptian government, Maltese Independent reports.

The Lagocephalus Sceleratus, commonly known as the silver-cheeked toad-fish, is known as an extremely poisonous bony fish that is native to the Red Sea and has already claimed lives, according to reports from Italian Corriere Della Sera. The invasive species was spotted in the Mediterranean for the first time in 2003.

If consumed, this alien species can paralyze parts of the nervous and respiratory system, meaning the fish has no natural predators. There are currently no antitoxins available to treat its effects, according to Professor Alan Deidun, coordinator of the Maltese Spot the Alien Fish Campaign.

There used to be natural barriers in the old Suez Canal that prevented invasive species from entering the Mediterranean, however, the new expansion has none of these barriers, which allows said fish to travel between oceans, according to CNN.

Photo: Bloom Association