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Answered 2016-08-24 21:31:39

Some are. But many will only cause injury with their hollow barbed fins, which can deliver a stinging protein. But some species, such as the striped eel catfish, can deliver a toxic mucus that may be fatal to humans. The edible portions of catfish do not contain any toxins.

A recent study suggests that about half of the 3000 known species of catfish are poisonous. Only a few species are poisonous enough to hurt humans (none in North America). The rest cause about the same amount of discomfort as bee stings. National Geographic also states that as the catfish grow, the venom glands shrink, indicating the venom glands are meant for defense while the fish is young.

The venom comes from glands near the pectoral fins. When the fins are grabbed the glands are ripped, releasing the venom.

The majority of catfish species have poisonous barbs located within their dorsal (top) and lateral (side) fins. If stuck with one of these, they can inject a toxin which causes a painful sting which usually resolves on its own after time. However, like any wound, it can get infected and it is advisable to clean and treat it. Only a select few of catfish species (located in areas of Southern Asia and India) have stings which could cause serious complications, or very rarely, death.

The catfish toxin is protein-based (like bee stings) and thus is treatable with meat tenderizer. Ammonia and vinegar will not be very effective, as they are alkali (base) treatments, to be used for acid-based toxins.

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no part in the catfish is poisonous. I've checked inside.


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