A Cambodian fisherman is making the buzz for catching the world’s largest freshwater fish, an enormous 13 ft, 330 kg stingray. The stingray measures 13ft from its snout to its tail and weighs around 660 pounds, according to a Cambodian-US joined research project called Wonders of Mekong.

The stingray was caught by a Cambodian fisherman earlier on June 13 identified as Moul Thun. A National Geographic report quoted a fish biologist regarding the development saying, “It proves these underwater leviathans, which are in critical danger, still exist.”

Mr. Moul Thun was fishing on a remote island in the Mekong River when he realized that he has caught something unlike ever before. Little did he know that not only would his catch be the biggest of his life, but would also set the record of being the largest recorded freshwater fish in the world so far.

For the unversed, freshwater fishes are those that spend their lifetime only in fresh water, as opposed to other species such as marlin or tune, or dolphins and sharks who live only in saltwater or migrate between fresh water and saltwater.

After weighing and measuring the stingray, a team of researchers inserted a tagging device near the tail and released it. The device will keep sending tracking information to the researchers.

The Facts of the Matter

According to National Ocean Service, over 80% of our ocean is unobserved and unexplored. Due to a greater deal of difficulty and cost in oceanic exploration, a vast amount of our oceans still remains unmapped. One may wonder what fascinating creatures are still unbeknownst to humanity.

Recently, a fisherman in Cambodia discovered a massive freshwater fish. So massive that it took a team of researchers to weigh and measure it. So massive, that it set a record of being the largest freshwater fish in the world.


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“What a catch!”

On June 13, fisherman Moul Thun captured an almost four meters long and almost 300 kg weighing stingray. To give a perspective about how important the discovery was, the previous record for world’s largest freshwater fish was made way back in 2005 when a 293 kg catfish was discovered in Thailand.

Mr. Moul Thun knew that his catch was perhaps the most memorable one in his life. He quickly alerted a team of scientists from the Wonders of Mekong project. The researchers arrived in a few hours and were shocked and awed to see the discovery.


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“Hard to comprehend”: Scientist on Size of Stingray

One of the scientists from the group, Mr. Zeb Hogan, was quoted in reports saying “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.”

“The fact that the fish can still get this big is a hopeful sign for the Mekong River,” he added.

Fisherman Gets Compensation of $600

Along with the Mr. Moul Thun, the giant stingray also became a local celebrity with the locals going as far as nicknaming it “Boramy” (meaning ‘full moon’) because of its round shape and because moon was on horizon after it was freed. The fisherman also got a substantial payout for his discovery ($600).

After weighing it and measuring it, the researchers inserted a tagging device in the stingray’s tail which will keep sending tracking information throughout the next year. This is especially important since the giant stingray is a relatively fewer known fish.


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Why Giant Stingray is a Poorly Understood Fish?

Talking about the same, Wonders of the Mekong leader, Zeb Hogan said, “The giant stingray is a very poorly understood fish. Its name, even its scientific name, has changed several times in the last 20 years. It’s found throughout south-east Asia, but we have almost no information about it. We don’t know about its life history. We don’t know about its ecology, about its migration patterns.”

 

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