World’s biggest freshwater fish, a 660-pound stingray, caught in Cambodia
Cambodian villagers on the Mekong River caught what researchers claim is the world’s largest freshwater fish ever recorded, a 661-pound (300-kilogram) stingray that took a dozen men to haul to shore.
Boramy, which means “full moon” in Khmer, was named after her bulbous shape and was released back into the river after being electronically tagged to allow scientists to monitor her movement and behavior.
“This is very exciting news because it was the world’s largest (freshwater) fish,” said biologist Zeb Hogan, former host of the National Geographic Channel’s “Monster Fish” show and now part of Wonders of the Mekong, a river conservation project.
“It is also encouraging news because it indicates that this stretch of the Mekong is still in good health…. The fact that these massive fish are still alive (here) is a sign of hope.”
Boramy was caught last week off Koh Preah, an island on the river’s northern Cambodian stretch. She broke the record set in 2005 by a 645-pound (293-kilogram) giant catfish caught upstream in northern Thailand.
After a fisherman hooked the endangered stingray, he contacted Wonders of the Mekong, which assisted in tagging the ray and releasing it back into the river.
According to the Mekong River Commission, the Mekong has the world’s third-most diverse fish population, though overfishing, pollution, saltwater intrusion, and sediment depletion have caused stocks to plummet.
According to Wonders of the Mekong, stingrays in particular have been vulnerable to these changes, with mass deaths occurring despite conservation measures such as fishing restrictions and river guards in place.