Man reels in 660-pound stingray, the world’s largest recorded freshwater fish: “It’s arduous to grasp”

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 USA.  

The stingray, captured on June 13, measured virtually 4 meters (13 toes) from snout to tail and weighed just below 300 kilograms (660 kilos), in accordance with an announcement Monday by Wonders of the Mekong, a joint Cambodian-U.S. analysis challenge.

Cambodia Giant Stingray
On this photograph supplied by Wonders of the Mekong taken on June 14, 2022, a person touches a large freshwater stingray earlier than being launched again into the Mekong River within the northeastern province of Stung Treng, Cambodia.

Chhut Chheana / AP

The earlier file for a freshwater fish was a 293-kilogram (646-pound) Mekong big catfish, found in Thailand in 2005, the group stated.

The stingray was snagged by an area fisherman south of Stung Treng in northeastern Cambodia. The fisherman alerted a close-by group of scientists from the Wonders of the Mekong challenge, 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 have been amazed at what they noticed.

“Yeah, once you see a fish this measurement, particularly in freshwater, it’s arduous to grasp, so I believe all of our group was surprised,” Wonders of the Mekong chief Zeb Hogan stated 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 those who spend their whole 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 file, he stated.

“The truth that the fish can nonetheless get this huge is a hopeful signal for the Mekong River, ” Hogan stated, 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 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.

“Massive 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 do not have an opportunity to breed,” Hogan stated. “Numerous these huge fish are migratory, in order that they want giant areas to outlive. They’re impacted by issues like habitat fragmentation from dams, clearly impacted by overfishing. So about 70% of big freshwater fish globally are threatened with extinction, and all the Mekong species.”

The group that rushed to the positioning inserted a tagging system close to the tail of the mighty fish that can ship monitoring data for the subsequent yr, offering unprecedented information on big stingray conduct in Cambodia.

“The enormous stingray is a really poorly understood fish. Its title, even its scientific title, has modified a number of instances within the final 20 years,” Hogan stated. “It is discovered all through Southeast Asia, however now we have virtually no details about it. We do not learn about its life historical past. We do not learn about its ecology, about its migration patterns.”

Researchers say it is 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.

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 price, which means he obtained a fee of round $600.

The Mekong River has the third-most various fish inhabitants on this planet, in accordance with the Mekong River Fee. Nonetheless, overfishing, air pollution and different components have prompted populations to dwindle. 

Biologist Zeb Hogan, who previously hosted the present “Monster Fish” on the Nationwide Geographic Channel, instructed Reuters the catch was “very thrilling information”

“It implies that this stretch of the Mekong continues to be wholesome. … It’s a signal of hope that these large fish nonetheless reside (right here),” he stated.

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