I've caught puffers and skate while fishing in central NJ. People eat the puffer fish. Not sure if our local ones have the poison in them or not. Guy I was fishing next to told me he ate them and his grandmother knew how to clean them to avoid the poison parts.
Interesting. I remember catching puffers in Barnegat Bay back when. The skate egg cases are always on the beach, but I've never seen one wash up.
We did the same with a shark maybe two weeks back. And we also found a sturgeon (I think) washed up that was dead.
And then of course these, so critical to migratory birds.
i've been offered, and have eaten, fugu (puffer fish) sashimi in japan. chef requires a special license due its toxicity, and is very pricey. my japanese hosts were delighted to order it on the company expense account with me as the excuse. that tingling sensation in the mouth is the purposeful low toxin dose to demonstrate the chef's prowess. i smiled and shared my remaining portion with my eager hosts. i figured that more sake was an antidote for whatever ails you.
if you ever ate smooth and/or inexpensive "scallops" you ate skate plugs.
On the northern east cost we called them blowfish, it's a northern puffer. When out of the water they puff up and make a croaking sound. We caught tons in the Shark River, Belmar, NJ. They left because water quality declined but I think they're making a comeback in the area as it cleans up. We used to eat them and they are delicious. There may be a little toxin in the gut but not in the flesh.