BANGKOK — The world’s largest recorded freshwater fish, an enormous stingray, has been caught within the Mekong River in Cambodia, in keeping with scientists from the Southeast Asian nation and the US.
The stingray, captured on June 13, measured nearly 4 meters (13 toes) from snout to tail and weighed slightly below 300 kilograms (660 kilos), in keeping with a press release Monday by Wonders of the Mekong, a joint Cambodian-U.S. analysis mission.
The earlier document for a freshwater fish was a 293-kilogram (646-pound) Mekong large catfish, found in Thailand in 2005, the group mentioned.
The stingray was snagged by an area fisherman south of Stung Treng in northeastern Cambodia. The fisherman alerted a close-by crew of scientists from the Wonders of the Mekong mission, which has publicized its conservation work in communities alongside the river.
The scientists arrived inside hours of getting a post-midnight name with the information, and had been amazed at what they noticed.
“Yeah, whenever you see a fish this dimension, particularly in freshwater, it’s exhausting to grasp, so I feel all of our crew was shocked,” Wonders of the Mekong chief Zeb Hogan mentioned in a web-based interview from the College of Nevada in Reno. The college is partnering with the Cambodian Fisheries Administration and USAID, the U.S. authorities’s worldwide improvement company.
Freshwater fish are outlined as people who spend their whole lives in freshwater, versus large marine species resembling bluefin tuna and marlin, or fish that migrate between recent and saltwater like the large beluga sturgeon.
The stingray’s catch was not nearly setting a brand new document, he mentioned.
“The truth that the fish can nonetheless get this large is a hopeful signal for the Mekong River, ” Hogan mentioned, noting that the waterway faces many environmental challenges.
The Mekong River runs by means of China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It’s residence to a number of species of large freshwater fish however environmental pressures are rising. Particularly, scientists worry a significant program of dam constructing in recent times could also be significantly disrupting spawning grounds.
“Large fish globally are endangered. They’re high-value species. They take a very long time to mature. So in the event that they’re fished earlier than they mature, they don’t have an opportunity to breed,” Hogan mentioned. “Loads of these large fish are migratory, in order that they want massive areas to outlive. They’re impacted by issues like habitat fragmentation from dams, clearly impacted by overfishing. So about 70% of large freshwater fish globally are threatened with extinction, and all the Mekong species.”
The crew that rushed to the positioning inserted a tagging gadget close to the tail of the mighty fish that may ship monitoring data for the subsequent 12 months, offering unprecedented knowledge on large stingray conduct in Cambodia.
“The enormous stingray is a really poorly understood fish. Its identify, even its scientific identify, has modified a number of instances within the final 20 years,” Hogan mentioned. “It’s discovered all through Southeast Asia, however we now have nearly no details about it. We don’t find out about its life historical past. We don’t find out about its ecology, about its migration patters.”
Researchers say it’s the fourth large stingray reported in the identical space prior to now two months, all of them females. They suppose this can be a spawning hotspot for the species.
Native residents nicknamed the stingray “Boramy,” or “full moon,” due to its spherical form and since the moon was on the horizon when it was freed on June 14. Along with the consideration of getting caught the record-breaker, the fortunate fisherman was compensated at market charge, which means he obtained a cost of round $600.
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