Large 300kg stingray breaks document as largest freshwater fish ever found
The world’s largest recorded freshwater fish has been found within the Mekong River in Cambodia, say scientists.
The enormous stingray measured nearly 4 metres from snout to tail and weighed just below 300 kg, in line with a press release on Monday by Wonders of the Mekong, a joint Cambodian-US analysis venture.
The earlier document for a freshwater fish was a 293 kg Mekong big catfish, found in Thailand in 2005, the group mentioned.
Freshwater fish are outlined as people who spend their whole lives in freshwater, versus big marine species reminiscent of bluefin tuna and marlin, or fish that migrate between recent and saltwater like the large beluga sturgeon.
A staff of scientists had been referred to as to look at the fish earlier than it was launched again into the river.
Are huge fish endangered?
The stingray’s catch was not nearly setting a brand new document, Wonders of the Mekong chief Zeb Hogan mentioned in an internet interview with the College of Nevada.
“The truth that the fish can nonetheless get this huge is a hopeful signal for the Mekong River,” he mentioned, noting that the waterway faces many environmental challenges.
The Mekong River runs by way of China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It’s dwelling to a number of species of big freshwater fish however environmental pressures are rising.
Particularly, scientists concern a serious programme of dam constructing lately could also be severely disrupting spawning grounds.
“Huge 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 don’t have an opportunity to breed,” Hogan mentioned.
“Plenty of these huge fish are migratory, in order that they want massive areas to outlive. They’re impacted by issues like habitat fragmentation from dams, clearly impacted by overfishing. So about 70 per cent of big freshwater fish globally are threatened with extinction, and all the Mekong species.”
What is thought about big stingrays?
The staff that rushed to the positioning inserted a tagging machine close to the tail of the mighty fish earlier than releasing it.
The machine will now ship monitoring data for the subsequent yr, offering unprecedented knowledge on big stingray behaviour 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 mentioned.
“It’s discovered all through Southeast Asia, however we now have nearly no details about it. We don’t find out about its life historical past. We don’t find out about its ecology, about its migration patterns.”
Researchers say it’s the fourth big stingray reported in the identical space prior to now two months, all of them females. They suppose 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 14 June.
Along with the honour of getting caught the record-breaker, the fisherman who found the stingray was awarded $600 (€569) for his troubles.