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Giant stingray found in Cambodia confirmed as world’s largest freshwater fish
October 16, 2023 By Hatchery International staff
A giant stingray caught in the Mekong River has been confirmed as the world’s largest freshwater fish in the 2024 Guinness Book of World Records.
Fishermen in the Stung Treng region of northern Cambodia caught the female stingray in June 2022. It weighed 661 pounds and was over 13 feet long.
The measurements were taken by a team of researchers with the U.S.-Cambodian with the Wonders of the Mekong project. This project is a USAID-funded collaboration between the Cambodian Fisheries Administration and the Global Water Center at the University of Nevada, as well as other partners like FISHBIO. It aims to maintain the ecological, cultural, and economic integrity of the Mekong River.
The fisher who caught the stingray, named “Boramy,” contacted the Wonders of the Mekong researchers, who fitted the fish with an acoustic tracking tag, in order for the researchers to follow her movements and identify important habitats for the endangered fish.
Zeb Hogan, project lead and biology professor at the university, said the recognition is an important milestone in the study and protection of the giant stingray and other fish species in the Mekong River.
“Developing relationships with fishers along the Mekong River allowed us to officially measure, tag, and then release this fish, so she can go back to her habitat and provide our team with information that could help bring the species back from the brink,” Hogan said.
Hogan hopes the fish’s feature inspires young people to take an interest in the conservation of endangered megafish, like the stingray.
“Reaching people in innovative ways has been paramount to the mission of the Wonders of the Mekong, and finding a record-breaking fish raises awareness about the incredible importance of the Mekong River and its extraordinary aquatic life,” Hogan said. “Recognition by the Guinness Book of World Records is a point of pride for many Cambodians and helps build momentum for future conservation efforts.”
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