DAR ES SALAAM, March 14 (Xinhua) — At least seven people died and eight others fell sick after eating sea turtle meat on Tanzania’s Indian Ocean Island of Mafia on Saturday night, an official said late Monday.

Juma Khatibu, chairperson of Bweni village on Mafia Island, the third largest island in Tanzanian ocean territory, said the victims bought the sea turtle meat, suspected to be poisonous, from fishermen on Saturday evening and ate it at night.The eight sick people had been admitted to the hospital where their conditions were described as stable, Khatibu said.The Tanzanian government has banned the consumption of turtle meat for conservation reasons but some unscrupulous fishers sell it illegally. Some turtles are poisonous. In October last year, at least three people also died and 74 others fell sick after eating turtle meat suspected to be poisonous in the southern region of Lindi.