Don't stroke this catty creature

Central Station | 20 Jul 2021

Along with the usual precautions when at the beach and paddling or swimming, watch out for an additional menace among marine creatures.

This warning comes after lifeguards spotted hundreds of striped eel catfish (Plotosus lineatus) at Tuen Mun's Golden Beach yesterday.

All were juveniles about five centimeters in length, but the gray fish with white stripes running from head to tail don't need to reach maturity at 32cm to deliver painful and potentially fatal hits from sharp and poisonous spines on their dorsal and pectoral fins.

While people would be way too much of a mouthful, the danger can be a simple touch. That can cause excruciating pain. Lifeguards should be able to help with initial treatment if you're a victim, but best you don't need to call on their services.

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September 2021

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