Hogfish may be contaminated with a tropical marine toxin that causes ciguatera, a serious foodborne illness that improves with time but has no cure. Ciguatera is found in tropical reef fish, and cannot be cooked out of food. Be sure to ask at restaurants whether your tropical fish has been tested for the presence of this toxin. If you choose to eat tropical reef fish, consuming small portions and selecting smaller-sized fish may help you avoid the more serious side effects of this toxin.
The population of hogfish, as a whole, is unknown, but biomass in small regions has continued to grow over the last few decades. Hogfish are caught primarily by spear fishing, a selective fishing method that is widely considered to cause little damage to the environment or the catch of non-target species. This fish may also be caught by rod-and-reel and hand lines, which also are considered more ecologically friendly. They too usually leave minimal impact on the marine environment and result in higher survival rates for non-target species accidentally caught.