By JERRY HARMER, Related Press
BANGKOK (AP) — The world’s largest recorded freshwater fish, a large stingray, has been caught within the Mekong River in Cambodia, in keeping with scientists from the Southeast Asian nation and america.
The stingray, captured on June 13, measured virtually 4 meters (13 ft) from snout to tail and weighed slightly below 300 kilograms (660 kilos), in keeping with a press release Monday by Wonders of the Mekong, a joint Cambodian-U.S. analysis challenge.
The earlier file for a freshwater fish was a 293-kilogram (646-pound) Mekong large catfish, found in Thailand in 2005, the group mentioned.
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, whenever you see a fish this measurement, particularly in freshwater, it’s exhausting to grasp, so I believe all of our group was shocked,” Wonders of the Mekong chief Zeb Hogan mentioned 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 large marine species reminiscent of bluefin tuna and marlin, or fish that migrate between recent and saltwater like the large beluga sturgeon.
The stingray’s catch was not nearly setting a brand new file, he mentioned.
“The truth that the fish can nonetheless get this massive is a hopeful signal for the Mekong River, ” Hogan mentioned, noting that the waterway faces many environmental challenges.
The Mekong River runs by China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It’s house to a number of species of large freshwater fish however environmental pressures are rising. Specifically, scientists concern a significant program of dam constructing lately could also be critically 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 don’t have an opportunity to breed,” Hogan mentioned. “A number of these massive fish are migratory, so that they want massive areas to outlive. They’re impacted by issues like habitat fragmentation from dams, clearly impacted by overfishing. So about 70% of large freshwater fish globally are threatened with extinction, and the entire Mekong species.”
The group that rushed to the location inserted a tagging system close to the tail of the mighty fish that may ship monitoring data for the subsequent yr, offering unprecedented knowledge on large stingray conduct in Cambodia.
“The large stingray is a really poorly understood fish. Its identify, even its scientific identify, has modified a number of instances within the final 20 years,” Hogan mentioned. “It’s discovered all through Southeast Asia, however we’ve got virtually no details about it. We don’t learn about its life historical past. We don’t learn about its ecology, about its migration patters.”
Researchers say it’s the fourth large 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 June 14. Along with the respect of getting caught the record-breaker, the fortunate fisherman was compensated at market fee, that means he obtained a fee of round $600.
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