Swimming Fugu [Pufferfish, Blowfish, Boh-guh (korea), Family Tetraodontidae, usually some species of genus Takifugu (commonly Takifugu rubripes (photo)), Lagocephalus or Sphoeroides but also Diodon]

A family of fish that puff up to several times their normal size when threatened, common in tropical seas, particularly near reefs. Fugu is considered a great delicacy in Japan (and Korea) where it is extremely expensive and served raw in highly decorative arrangements. It's prepared only by trained and licensed fugu chefs - because the eyes and internals are so toxic one fish can kill 30 people.

Non-toxic fugu can be farm raised because they don't make the poison themselves, they have to consume certain bacteria to do it. Non-toxic fugu has generated little interest - without the risk of death it's just another fish. Puffers have long been eaten in Florida but are now banned taken from some waters due to a different bacterial toxin. Fugu is not considered threatened but is not generally marketed in North America.   Photo by Chris 73 distuributed under license Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike v3.0.

Fugu slices A plate of fugu sashimi. When you're paying that kind of money you get some pretty fancy presentations.   Photo distuributed under license Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike v3.0.

Puffed Fugu The most familiar puffer fish, Diodon holocanthus, is sometimes used to prepare fugu dishes. Creative Commons Attribution v2.0 Generic.

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