Digital technologies and open data sources in marine biotoxins’ risk analysis: The case of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

Panagiota Katikou (Directorate of Research, Innovation and Education, Hapsa & Karatasou, Greece)

(Artículo de revisión)

Abstract: Currently, digital technologies influence information dissemination in all business sectors, with great emphasis put on exploitation strategies. Public administrations often use information systems and establish open data repositories, primarily supporting their operation but also serving as data providers, facilitating decision-making. As such, risk an alysis in the public health sector, including food safety authorities, often relies on digital technologies and open data sources. Global food safety challenges include marine biotoxins (MBs), being contaminants whose mitigation largely depends on risk analysis. Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP), in particular, is a MB-related seafood intoxication attributed to the consumption of fish species that are prone to accumulate ciguatoxins. Historically, CFP occurred endemically in tropical/subtropical areas, but has gradually emerged in temperate regions, including European waters, necessitating official policy adoption to manage the potential risks. Researchers and policy-makers highlight scientific data inadequacy, underreporting of outbreaks and information source fragmentation as major obstacles in developing CFP mitigation strategies. Although digital technologies and open data sources provide exploitable scientific information for MB risk analysis, their utilization in counteracting CFP-related hazards has not been addressed to date. This work thus attempts to answer the question, “What is the current extent of digital technologies’ and open data sources’ utilization within risk analysis tasks in the MBs field, particularly on CFP?”, by conducting a systematic literature review of the available scientific and grey literature. Results indicate that the use of digital technologies and open data sources in CFP is not negligible. However, certain gaps are identified regarding discrepancies in terminology, source fragmentation and a redundancy and downplay of social media utilization, in turn constituting a future research agenda for this under-researched topic.

Keywords: Ciguatera Fish Poisoning, digital technologies, open data, risk analysis, marine biotoxins

Publicado en Ciguatera.

Licenciada en Información Científico Técnica y Master en Bibliotecología y Ciencias de la Información, por la Universidad de La Habana, Cuba. Ha estado vinculada durante más de 25 años al área de las Ciencias de la Información y desde el 2015 labora como Especialista Principal en el Centro de Documentación e Información del Centro de Investigaciones Pesqueras (CIP) de Cuba.

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