The world’s largest recorded freshwater fish, a large stingray, has been caught within the Mekong River in Cambodia, in accordance with scientists from the Southeast Asian nation and the US.
The stingray, captured on June 13, measured virtually 4 meters (13 ft) from snout to tail and weighed slightly below 300 kilograms (660 kilos), in accordance with a press release Monday by Wonders of the Mekong, a joint Cambodian-U.S. analysis undertaking.
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The earlier report for a freshwater fish was a 293-kilogram (646-pound) Mekong big catfish, found in Thailand in 2005, the group mentioned.
The stingray was snagged by a neighborhood fisherman south of Stung Treng in northeastern Cambodia. The fisherman alerted a close-by crew of scientists from the Wonders of the Mekong undertaking, 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, when you see a fish this size, especially in freshwater, it is hard to comprehend, so I think all of our team was stunned,” 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 complete lives in freshwater, versus big marine species equivalent to bluefin tuna and marlin, or fish that migrate between contemporary and saltwater like the large beluga sturgeon.
The stingray’s catch was not nearly setting a brand new report, he mentioned.
“The fact that the fish can still get this big is a hopeful sign for the Mekong River, ” Hogan mentioned, noting that the waterway faces many environmental challenges.
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The Mekong River runs by way of China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It’s house to a number of species of big 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.
“Big fish globally are endangered. They’re high-value species. They take a long time to mature. So if they’re fished before they mature, they don’t have a chance to reproduce,” Hogan mentioned. “A lot of these big fish are migratory, so they need large areas to survive. They’re impacted by things like habitat fragmentation from dams, obviously impacted by overfishing. So about 70% of giant freshwater fish globally are threatened with extinction, and all of the Mekong species.”
The crew that rushed to the positioning inserted a tagging system close to the tail of the mighty fish earlier than releasing it. The system will ship monitoring data for the subsequent 12 months, offering unprecedented knowledge on big stingray conduct in Cambodia.
“The giant stingray is a very poorly understood fish. Its name, even its scientific name, has changed several times in the last 20 years,” Hogan mentioned. “It’s found throughout 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 patters.”
Researchers say it’s the fourth big stingray reported in the identical space prior to now two months, all of them females. They assume this can be a spawning hotspot for the species.
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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 acquired a cost of round $600.
The Related Press contributed to this text.
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