FOUR people have died and more than six villagers are recovering from fish poisioning that happened at Somosomo Village on Gau Island.
It is believed that the group consumed the fish — Daniva (Herkiotsichthys quadrimaculatus) — two days ago at the village.
The Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, and police, have confirmed this with government teams investigating the case in the village.
Director of Fisheries George Madden has urged everyone on Gau and Lomaiviti province to refrain from eating or selling Daniva (Herkiotsichthys quadrimaculatus) that has been fished from their waters.
Mr Madden said the fish species Daniva, feeds on a toxic bacteria known as Ciguatoxic dinoflagellates, which emerges in this kind of weather and is usually carried by the female species.
"The Ministry would also like to encourage fishermen to stop the consumption of Ciguatoxic species (known poisonous fish) such as Bati, Regurawa, Delabulewa, large Barracuda or Ogo and the yellowtail Ogo.
"Families should take this advice seriously to avoid fish poisoning."
Mr Madden confirmed that a team from the Ministry of Fisheries was currently at Somosomo to assess the situation.
Police spokesman Inspector Jokatama Qio confirmed that they received a report of the four deaths from Gau yesterday.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services said they were investigating multiple cases of fish poisoning at Somosomo.
They said the deceased persons failed to respond to treatment by medical personnel at the Qarani Health Centre.
"The doctor stationed on the island had accompanied another patient to Suva for serious medical assistance," the statement said.
"The medical services staff have visited Somosomo Village and are conducting investigations to find out the total number of people who have eaten the suspected fish and are experiencing symptoms of fish poisoning.
"Any patient who appears to be at risk will be carefully monitored and treated as required.
"The priority for the ministry at this stage is to ensure that all those affected are treated appropriately."
According to reports, more than 10 people were taken to the health centre after suffering from fish poisoning, of which four died and the others were later discharged after treatment.