This text was initially featured on Field & Stream.
From the murky depths of Southeast Asia’s Mekong River, a brand new world file has emerged. The largest freshwater fish caught wherever, ever, was captured and launched final week close to Koh Preah Island on the Mekong River within the Stung Treng space of northern Cambodia. Fisherman Moul Thun, searching for smaller quarry to promote within the native fish market, by chance hooked the large stingray on the evening of June 13, utilizing a easy hook and line.
As a substitute of bringing his catch to the market, nevertheless, Thun known as a group of scientists working with Wonders of the Mekong, a USAID-supported analysis challenge learning the biodiversity, local weather, and hydrology of the Mekong River Basin. The group had been putting in underwater receivers within the space over the previous a number of months for a challenge monitoring fish migrations. Over that point, that they had requested native fishermen to contact them in the event that they landed any fish of curiosity. In current months, they helped tag and launch two different big stingrays.
However these weren’t world information. FISHBIO, a companion on the Wonders of the Mekong challenge, formally weighed Thun’s practically 13-foot snout-to-tail catch at 661 kilos, crushing the earlier file, a 646-pound Mekong big catfish, caught on the Mekong in 2005, in Thailand.
Zeb Hogan, a fish biologist on the College of Nevada who leads Wonders of the Mekong and hosts Nationwide Geographic’s Monster Fish tv collection, advised National Geographic, “It proves these underwater leviathans, that are in vital hazard, nonetheless exist.”
FISHBIO tagged the large freshwater stingray and launched it again into the river, expressing optimism that it remained wholesome and would survive the 18-hour course of from catch to launch. The tag, which emits an acoustic sign, will assist them monitor the fish’s actions and study extra in regards to the species’ habits.
Hogan stated that enormous stingrays feed on shrimps, mollusks, and small fish on the underside of the river, which it sucks up with its banana-shaped mouth. It’s believed that the Stung Treng stretch of the river is a vital pupping floor for the river’s largest fish. Hogan advised NBC Information, “It’s a very wholesome stretch of the river with quite a lot of deep swimming pools—swimming pools as much as 90 meters deep. We began specializing in this space as a stretch of river that’s significantly vital for biodiversity and fisheries, and as a final refuge for these large species.”
Nonetheless, Hogan identified how mysteries world’s greatest freshwater fish stay. He advised NBC Information that the catch “highlights how little we learn about quite a lot of these big freshwater fish. You’ve got a fish that’s now the file holder for the world’s largest freshwater fish, and we all know little about it.”
For his efforts, Thun was paid market worth for his wonderful catch.