A fisherman in Cambodia snagged the rights to a real fish story final week, touchdown what turned out to be the most important freshwater fish ever caught.
The large freshwater stingray (Urogymnus polylepis) is greater than 13 ft (4 meters) lengthy and weighed in at a whopping 661 kilos (299.8 kilograms). Regardless of its huge bulk, little is understood about this species of stingray’s habits and habits within the wild. Scientists tagged and launched the record-breaker so as to study extra about its migration patterns and most well-liked habitats.
The flapjack-shaped discover has now secured the standing of the large freshwater stingray as the most important recognized fish on the earth, nudging out the Mekong large catfish (Pangasianodon gigas), the most important of which was a 646-pound (293 kg) specimen caught in Thailand in 2005.
The large freshwater stingray additionally hails from the Mekong River. It was caught on June 13 by a fisher named Moul Thun within the Stung Treng province in northeastern Cambodia, in keeping with NBC. The following morning, Thun referred to as in researchers from the conservation group Wonders of Mekong, which has been working to file and defend large stingrays within the waterway. The Mekong is the one place on the earth the place these large fish are discovered, Zeb Hogan, director of the Wonders of the Mekong mission and a analysis affiliate professor on the College of Nevada in Reno, informed NBC.
“It’s a very wholesome stretch of the river with loads of deep swimming pools — swimming pools as much as 90 meters [295 feet] deep,” mentioned Hogan, a fish biologist who hosts Nationwide Geographic’s “Monster Fish” tv sequence. “We began specializing in this space as a stretch of river that’s notably essential for biodiversity and fisheries, and as a final refuge for these large species.”
That is the third large stingray catch-and-release of the final two months, in keeping with NBC. All three stingrays, together with a 397-pounder (180 kg) caught in Could, have been feminine, elevating the chance that this stretch of river may be a nursery the place stingrays go to put eggs and lift younger.
Wonders of Mekong pays fishers market value for his or her launched catches. The researchers additionally tagged this stingray with an acoustic transmitter that can assist the scientists preserve tabs on the monster fish for a full yr. Hydroelectric improvement tasks could also be in retailer for areas alongside the Mekong, Hogan informed NBC, and studying in regards to the fish’s migratory wants is essential to make sure that any future tasks do not threaten the stingrays. To that finish, the researchers plan to tag and launch a number of hundred massive Mekong River fish.
“That is going to permit us that first, form of empirical knowledge to realize that details about these particular person migratory patterns of fish,” Hogan mentioned in a video launched by Wonders of Mekong. “So, to realize that details about people, that is going to be actually crucial to advertise the conservation of the species.”
Initially revealed on Reside Science