In Florida (USA), numerous cases of human ciguatera fish poisoning, as well as neurotoxic shellfish poisoning following consumption of local seafood products, have been reported. By using in parallel, the sodium channel receptor binding assay (RBA), and the ouabain/veratridine-dependent cytotoxicity assay (N2A assay), we established criteria to identify, detect, and quantify ciguatoxins in fish extracts, with a brevetoxin as internal standard. Results showed that the Caribbean ciguatoxin C-CTX-1 exhibited an 8-fold higher potency in the RBA than brevetoxins and, a 440 and 2300-fold higher potency in the N2A assay than PbTx-1 and PbTx-3, respectively. Moreover, a sensitivity comparison between assays revealed that the N2A assay was more sensitive (12-fold) for ciguatoxin analysis, whereas the RBA was more sensitive (3-24-fold) for brevetoxins analysis. Based on the relative potency between toxins and the opposite sensitivity of both assays we have used the RBA and the N2A assay to screen great barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda) collected from the Florida Keys for ciguatoxins and brevetoxins. Fish extract analysis showed a sodium channel-dependent activity consistent with the presence of ciguatoxins, and not brevetoxins. Among 40 barracudas analyzed, 60% contained ciguatoxin levels in their liver measurable by the N2A assay with the most toxic fish containing 2.1ppb C-CTX-1 equivalents.