More information

African sharptooth catfish

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Second choice
Informatie over vissoort
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To the family of catfish (Siluriformes) belong 1727 different species. They are called catfish due to their distinctive feelers. Catfish can weight over 100 kilograms, however, most species are significantly smaller. Catfish possess the organ of Weber which is a small set of bones that are connected to the swimbladder and transmit vibrations.

Catfish are commercially very important and are either farmed or wild-caught. Well-known species are pangasius and the African sharp tooth catfish.

African sharptooth catfish

This catfish can be found in lakes, rivers, and swamps in Africa and the Middle East. It has an elongated, dark coloured body that can reach up to 1.70 m and weigh as much as 60 kg. The African catfish is not a very demanding species in terms of water quality. This makes it is a very popular fish to farm; the fish has already been used for aquaculture practices since the 80s.


African sharptooth catfish

Clarias gariepinus

Europe, inland waters
Deelgebieden: Belgium

Farming- / Catch method

Recirculation aquaculture system (RAS)

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Source usage
Impact on the environment
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Catfish gets a good rating on the VISwijzer because the aquaculture does not lead to negative effects on the direct environment and the fish does not need a large amount of wild fish to grow. A unique feature is that a large part of the Dutch catfish is killed humanely.

The African sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus) is a fish species that has been farmed for 30 years in the Netherlands. In nature they can reach a length of 1,50 meters and a weight of 60 kg, however in the Netherlands they get a weight of a few kilo’s.

Catfish have a special organ which allows them to get oxygen from the air, a lack of oxygen is therefore less of a problem. They can generally live with well with other specimens of the species, even stronger, the more space a catfish has available, the more territorial it gets.



ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.


Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.


This fish is unwillingly caught while fishing for a different species. They are underused and should be eaten more.


GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.


Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.

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