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World’s largest freshwater fish caught in Cambodia | News

Fishermen on the Mekong River caught a giant stingray weighing nearly 300kg.

A fisherman in Cambodia has caught the world’s largest recorded freshwater fish, a giant stingray.

Pictured June 13, the stingray is nearly four meters (13 feet) long from snout to tail and weighs less than 300kg (660lbs), according to a statement Monday by Wonders of the Mekong, a joint research project. between Cambodia and the United States.

The previous record for a freshwater fish was a 293 kg (646 lb) Mekong giant catfish, discovered in Thailand in 2005, the team said.

Christened “Boramy” – which means full moon in Khmer – because of its bulb-like shape, the stingray was caught south of Stung Treng on the Mekong River in northeastern Cambodia. It took about a dozen men to pull the fish ashore.

They informed a group of nearby scientists from the Wonders of the Mekong project, which has made its conservation work public in communities along the river.

The scientists arrived within hours of receiving a call after midnight with the news and were amazed at what they saw.

“When you see a fish of this size, especially in freshwater, it’s very difficult to understand, so I think all of our groups were taken aback,” said Zeb Hogan, Wonders team leader. of Mekong, said in an online interview from the University of Nevada in Reno.

Villagers watch as a team of Cambodian and American scientists and researchers, along with Fisheries Administration officials prepare to release a giant freshwater stingray back into the Mekong River in Stung Treng province, Cambodia
Villagers watch as a team of Cambodian and American scientists and researchers, along with Fisheries Administration officials prepare to release a giant freshwater stingray back into the Mekong River in Stung Treng province, Cambodia [Sinsamout Ounboundisane/FISHBIO via AP]

Freshwater fish are defined as those that spend their entire lives in fresh water, as opposed to giant marine species such as bluefin tuna and alfalfa, or fish that migrate between freshwater and saltwater such as beluga sturgeon.

The discovery of the stingray isn’t just about setting a new record.

“The fact that fish can still reach such large numbers is a hopeful sign for the Mekong,” said Hogan, noting that the waterway faces many challenges. about environment.

The Mekong River flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is home to several species of freshwater fish but environmental pressures are increasing. In particular, scientists fear a major dam-building program in recent years could seriously disrupt spawning grounds.

“Big fish around the globe are in danger of extinction. They are species of high economic value. They take a long time to mature. So if they’re caught before they’re adults, they won’t have a chance to breed,” Hogan said. “A lot of these large fish are migratory, so they need large areas to survive. They are affected by things like habitat fragmentation from dams, obviously affected by overfishing. So about 70 percent of the giant freshwater fish globally are threatened with extinction, and all species in the Mekong River.”

The team that rushed to the site fitted a tagging device near the stingray’s tail before releasing it. The device will send tracking information over the next year, providing unprecedented data about its behavior.

“The giant stingray is a very poorly understood fish. Its name, even its scientific name, has changed several times in the past 20 years,” Hogan said. “It is found all over Southeast Asia, but we have almost no information about it. We don’t know about its life history. We don’t know about its ecology, about its migration patterns.”

This is the fourth giant stingray reported in the same area in the past two months, the researchers say, all of which are females. They suggest that this could be a breeding hotspot for the species.

The person who caught Boramy, in addition to the honor of catching the record-breaker, was also compensated at the market rate, meaning he received a sum of about 600 USD.

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