Nature and Biodiversity

The world's largest freshwater fish is discovered by villagers in Cambodia

The world's biggest freshwater fish, which is also the largest stingray, that weighs 661 pounds (300 kilograms) is pictured.

The world's biggest freshwater fish, which is also the largest stingray, that weighs 661 pounds (300 kilograms) is pictured. Image: via Reuters

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Cambodia

  • Cambodian villagers on the Mekong River have discovered the world's largest freshwater fish, a female stingray weighing in at 300kg.
  • Scientists have electronically tagged the fish, allowing them to monitor her behaviour and movement.
  • Despite concerns that overfishing, pollution and sediment depletion have impacted the river's diverse fish population, this discovery gives hope for the health of the Mekong.

Cambodian villagers on the Mekong River have caught what researchers say is the world's biggest freshwater fish ever recorded, a large stingray that weighed in at 300kg (661lb) and took around a dozen men to haul to shore.

Christened Boramy - meaning "full moon" in the Khmer language - because of her bulbous shape, the four-metre (13-foot) long female was released back into the river after being electronically tagged to allow scientists to monitor her movement and behaviour.

"This is very exciting news because it was the world's largest freshwater fish," said biologist Zeb Hogan, ex-host of the "Monster Fish" show on the National Geographic Channel and now part of a conservation project on the river.

"It is also exciting news because it means that this stretch of the Mekong is still healthy.... It is a sign of hope that these huge fish still live (here)."

Boramy, netted in mid-June off Koh Preah, an island along the northern Cambodian stretch of the river, took the record from a 293kg giant catfish that was caught upstream in northern Thailand in 2005.

The world's biggest freshwater fish.
The world's biggest freshwater fish. Image: Chhut Chheana/Wonder of Mekong/Handout via REUTERS

The Mekong has the third-most diverse fish population in the world, according to its River Commission, though overfishing, pollution, saltwater intrusion and sediment depletion have caused stocks to plummet.

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