Big stingray caught in Mekong ‘largest freshwater fish ever documented’

An colossal stingray caught within the Mekong river has been touted by scientists as the most important freshwater fish ever documented.

The 300kg (661lb) feminine stingray has usurped a 646lb (293kg) big catfish caught in Thailand in 2005 from its place because the record-holder, scientists say.

The Mekong river is the twelfth longest river on the earth and the third longest in Asia, flowing from the Tibetan Plateau by way of China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Its boundless biodiversity has seen the Mekong come to account for 1 / 4 of the world’s freshwater fish catch, in line with WWF. However overfishing has induced fish populations and catches to fall, threatening to inflict irreparable harm on its weak ecosystem.

A staff of Cambodian and American scientists and researchers, together with Fisheries Administration officers measure the size of an enormous freshwater stingray from snout to tail

Zeb Hogan, a biologist who leads Wonders of the Mekong, a USAID-funded conservation mission, stated: “In 20 years of researching big fish in rivers and lakes on six continents, that is the most important freshwater fish that we’ve encountered or that’s been documented wherever worldwide.”

“Discovering and documenting this fish is exceptional, and a uncommon optimistic signal of hope, much more so as a result of it occurred within the Mekong, a river that’s at the moment going through many challenges,” added Dr Hogan, who can be a professor on the College of Nevada, Reno.

Wonders of the Mekong works alongside the Cambodian Fisheries Administration to ascertain a community of fisherman who alert the researchers in the event that they catch big or endangered fish.

And on 13 June, in the course of the evening, the scientists obtained a name from a neighborhood Koh Preah fisherman, telling them he had caught a “very large” stingray. He later took residence a $600 (£490) reward for the exceptional discover.

The three.98m lengthy and a couple of.2m huge fish was fitted with an acoustic tag to trace its future motion, earlier than being launched again into the river.

The large feminine stingray was caught and launched within the Mekong River in Cambodia’s Stung Treng province

The stingray vanished beneath the muddy waters of the Mekong round nightfall when the moon was already up within the sky, Dr Hogan stated.

The fish is known as “Boramy”, which implies full moon within the native Khmer tongue.

“The stingray discover is proof that the pure world can nonetheless yield new and extraordinary discoveries, and that most of the largest aquatic creatures stay woefully understudied,” Dr Hogan stated.

The large freshwater stingray is an endangered species and this discovery is the second of its sort to be examined by the staff since Might, the primary having weighed 181kg.

“When file fish are discovered, it means the aquatic setting remains to be comparatively wholesome. That is in distinction to what we’ve seen in locations just like the Yantgze River, the place scientists reported the extinction of the Chinese language paddlefish,” Dr Hogan stated.

“The Mekong’s deep swimming pools maintain life far past these spectacular giants. Spawning on this crucial habitat produces billions of fish yearly which make sure the meals safety and livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of individuals in Cambodia and Vietnam.”



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