Biggest Freshwater Fish Ever Recorded Found In The Mekong River, Cambodia

Scientists have said that a 300kg stingray caught in the Mekong River in Cambodia is the largest freshwater fish ever documented.

Scientists say the 300kg stingray is the largest freshwater fish ever recorded
Scientists say the 300kg stingray is the largest freshwater fish ever recorded

This new discovery has taken the top position as the largest freshwater fish from the previous record-holder, a 293kg Mekong giant catfish that was caught in Thailand in 2005.

The Mekong is rich in biodiversity but pollution, dams, and overfishing are threatening its fragile ecosystem.

The huge river flows from the Tibetan Plateau through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Biologist, Zeb Hogan, said: "In 20 years of researching giant fish in rivers and lakes on six continents, this is the largest freshwater fish that we've encountered or that's been documented anywhere worldwide".

Scientists say the 300kg stingray is the largest freshwater fish ever recorded
The huge stingray was caught in Mekong River in Cambodia

Dr Hogan, a professor at the University of Nevado, said: "Finding and documenting this fish is remarkable, and a rare positive sign of hope, even more so because it occurred in the Mekong, a river that's currently facing many challenges".

The conservation project works with the Cambodian Fisheries Administration to set up a network of fishermen who alert the researchers if they catch giant or endangered fish.

On the night of 13 June, On Koh Preah island, a local fisherman called researchers to tell them that he had caught a "very big" stingray - the fish was 3.98m long and 2.2m wide.

The giant stingray was fitted with a tag to track its movement before being released back into the river.

Dr Hogan said that the fish quickly disappeared back into the muddy waters of the Mekong around dusk.

In the local Khmer language, the fish is known as "Boramy", which means full moon.

After being tagged the giant fish was released
After being tagged the giant fish was released

Dr Hogan said: "The stingray find is evidence that the natural world can still yield new and extraordinary discoveries, and that many of the largest aquatic creatures remain woefully understudied.

"When record fish are found, it means the aquatic environment is still relatively healthy. This is in contrast to what we've seen in places like the Yangtze River, where scientists reported the extinction of the Chinese Paddlefish".

Dr Hogan added: "The Mekong's deep pools sustain life far beyond these impressive giants. Spawning in this critical habitat produces billions of fish every year which ensures the food security and livelihoods for millions of people in Cambodia and Vietnam.

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