The world’s premier recorded freshwater fish, a big stingray, has been caught in the Mekong River in Cambodia, in accordance to researchers from the Southeast Asian country and the United States.
The stingray, captured on June 13, measured virtually four metres from snout to tail and weighed a little less than 300 kilograms, according to a statement on Monday by Wonders of the Mekong, a joint Cambodian-U.S. exploration challenge.
The preceding document for a freshwater fish was a 293-kilogram Mekong giant catfish, discovered in Thailand in 2005, the group claimed.
The stingray was snagged by a area fisherman south of Stung Treng, in northeastern Cambodia. The fisherman alerted a nearby workforce of experts from the Wonders of the Mekong undertaking, which has publicized its conservation function in communities along the river.
‘It is difficult to comprehend’
The experts arrived within several hours of having a post-midnight phone with the news and were being astonished at what they noticed.
“Yeah, when you see a fish this dimensions, particularly in freshwater, it is tough to understand, so I believe all of our group was surprised,” Miracles of the Mekong leader Zeb Hogan said in an on the internet job interview from the College of Nevada, Reno. The college is partnering with the Cambodian Fisheries Administration and USAID, the U.S. government’s global enhancement agency.
Freshwater fish are described as those that spend their whole life in freshwater, as opposed to giant marine species this kind of as bluefin tuna and marlin, or fish that migrate amongst contemporary and saltwater, these as the big beluga sturgeon.
The stingray’s capture was not just about placing a new report, Hogan said.
“The actuality that the fish can even now get this major is a hopeful indication for the Mekong River, ” he said, noting that the waterway faces quite a few environmental issues.
The Mekong River runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is dwelling to quite a few species of huge freshwater fish, but environmental pressures are increasing. In distinct, experts panic a significant application of dam creating in new a long time may well be severely disrupting spawning grounds.
Tagged by scientists
“Massive fish globally are endangered. They’re large-benefit species. They choose a very long time to experienced. So if they are fished in advance of they mature, they you should not have a chance to reproduce,” Hogan mentioned. “A good deal of these large fish are migratory, so they have to have huge regions to endure. They are impacted by things like habitat fragmentation from dams, clearly impacted by overfishing. So about 70 per cent of huge freshwater fish globally are threatened with extinction, and all of the Mekong species.”
The staff that rushed to the site inserted a tagging product in the vicinity of the tail of the mighty fish that will deliver monitoring details for the subsequent yr, supplying unparalleled knowledge on large stingray conduct in Cambodia.
“The giant stingray is a extremely improperly understood fish. Its identify, even its scientific identify, has changed several situations in the previous 20 decades,” Hogan claimed. “It really is located in the course of Southeast Asia, but we have virtually no information and facts about it. We do not know about its daily life historical past. We do not know about its ecology, about its migration styles.”
Researchers say it’s the fourth big stingray documented in the identical region in the earlier two months, all of them girls. They consider this may be a spawning very hot spot for the species.
Neighborhood inhabitants nicknamed the stingray “Boramy,” or “whole moon,” due to the fact of its round shape and due to the fact the moon was on the horizon when it was freed on June 14. In addition to the honour of possessing caught the history-breaker, the lucky fisherman was compensated at sector charge, indicating he gained a payment of about $600.