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Cambodia Fisherman Caught World’s Largest Freshwater Fish

According to researchers, this is the fourth female gigantic stingray recorded in the same location in the last two months. They believe this is a spawning hotspot for the species.

Kritika Madhukar
"This is incredibly exciting news since it was the world's largest fish," said scientist Zeb Hogan
"This is incredibly exciting news since it was the world's largest fish," said scientist Zeb Hogan

Cambodian peasants in the Mekong River captured what researchers claim is the world's largest freshwater fish ever recorded, a 300kg (661 lb) stingray that took a dozen men to pull to shore.

China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are all connected by the Mekong River. 

It is home to numerous large freshwater fish species, but environmental constraints are increasing. Scientists are concerned that a significant dam-building initiative launched in recent years could adversely disturb spawning sites.

Boramy, which means "full moon" in Khmer, was named for the female's bulbous appearance of the giant fish and was put back into the river after being electronically tagged to allow scientists to follow her movement and behavior.

"This is incredibly exciting news since it was the world's largest fish," said scientist Zeb Hogan, former host of the National Geographic Channel's "Monster Fish" show and now part of a river conservation initiative.

Big fish are becoming increasingly scarce across the world. They are valuable species. It takes a long time for them to mature. "They don't have a chance to breed if they're captured before they mature," Hogan explained. 

The enormous stingray is a fish that is largely unknown. "Its name, and even its scientific nomenclature, has changed multiple times in the previous 20 years," stated Hogan. "It's distributed across Southeast Asia, but we know very little about it."

We don't know anything about its past. We don't know anything about its ecology or migratory habits. "In addition to the distinction of having captured the record-breaker, the fisher who caught Boramy was awarded at market rate, which amounted to around $600.

"Since many of these enormous fish are migratory, they require wide regions to live." They are affected by factors like dam habitat fragmentation and, obviously, overfishing. So almost 70% of the world's large freshwater fish as well as all Mekong species, are endangered with extinction."

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