A fisherman has caught a giant stingray thought to be the “world’s largest freshwater fish.”
Scientists in Cambodia say the stingray, which measured 4 meters and weighed just under 300 kilograms, is the largest freshwater fish ever recorded.
The stingray was caught in Cambodia, in the Mekong River—which also runs through Vietnam, Thailand, China, Laos, and Myanmar.
Moul Thun, 42, a local fisherman from northeastern Cambodia, caught the fish and then alerted Wonders of the Mekong, a joint Cambodian-U.S. research project, which is known for its conservation work.
Wonders of the Mekong leader Zeb Hogan told the University of Nevada in Reno in an interview: “Yeah, when you see a fish this size, especially in freshwater, it is hard to comprehend, so I think all of our team was stunned.”
Hogan also said: “It’s almost inconceivable that a fish this large still occurs in a river as heavily fished and developed as the Mekong.”
The team of scientists were able to tag the giant stingray and release it back into the wild. The tag will hopefully teach the scientists about where the fish travels, feeds and gives birth.
Fishermen don’t often intend to catch stingrays, but they can sometimes get accidentally caught—which is what happened with the world record-breaking fish.
The giant stingray—which was released during a full moon—was named Boramy, which means full moon in the Khmer language. The word is also used to describe a beautiful female.
The section of the Mekong River in northeastern Cambodia contains high biodiversity, and is thought to spawn up to 200 billion fish a year, as reported by National Geographic, which says “The region is also thought to be an important dry-season refuge for many of the Mekong’s mega fish, including giant stingrays.” Before this catch, the largest freshwater fish ever caught was a Mekong giant catfish, which weighed 293 kilograms. This fish was caught in Thailand in 2005. www.standard.co.uk/news