Cambodian villagers caught the world’s largest stingray
- Cambodian villagers in the Mekong have discovered the largest freshwater fish in the world, a female ray weighing 300 kg.
- The scientists electronically tagged the fish, allowing them to monitor its behavior and movements.
- Despite fears that overfishing, pollution and sediment depletion have impacted the diversity of the river’s fish population, this finding gives hope for the health of the Mekong.
Cambodian villagers in the Mekong caught what researchers say is the world’s largest freshwater fish ever recorded, a ray that weighed 300 kg (661 lb) and took a dozen men to haul to to the shore.
Named Boramy – meaning ‘full moon’ in the Khmer language – because of her bulbous shape, the four-metre (13ft) long female was released into the river after being electronically tagged to allow scientists to monitor her movements and his behavior.
“This is very exciting news because it was the biggest fish in the world,” said biologist Zeb Hogan, former host of National Geographic’s “Monster Fish” show and now part of a conservation project on the river.
“It’s also great news because it means this part of the Mekong is still healthy… It’s a hopeful sign that these huge fish are still living (here).”
Boramy, caught in mid-June off Koh Preah, an island in northern Cambodia, broke the record for a 293kg giant catfish caught upstream in northern Thailand in 2005.
The Mekong has the third most diverse fish population in the world, according to its River Commission, although overfishing, pollution, saltwater intrusion and sediment depletion have caused stocks to plummet.
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