A fisherman in northeastern Cambodia happened to snag what is now recognized as the largest freshwater fish ever captured. The giant stingray was first discovered on June 13th, 2022. It measured 13 feet long, and weighed around 660 pounds. Once this absolute monster was caught, the fisherman contacted scientists from the Wonders of the Mekong project. The team has established themselves in the region as a group focused on protecting life in the Mekong river. After getting a chance to fully measure the stingray, the scientists could confidently say it is the new record holder.
Locals have named the stingray Boramy, which translates to “full moon.” The fisherman who found it was given a cash reward of about $600 for their now legendary find. The last world record holder of a freshwater fish was a 646 pound catfish that was also found in the Mekong back in 2005. Freshwater fish, as the name implies, are creatures that cannot survive in the ocean or in saltwater areas.
Helping Life Find a Way
Usually, such fish don’t grow so large due to space and a higher rate of fishing in such areas. Scientists who work with fish like this see the discovery as an encouraging sign for threatened species. In an interview with the Associated Press, Zeb Hogan with the Wonders of the Mekong said “about 70% of giant freshwater fish globally are threatened with extinction, and all of the Mekong species.” The ability for a stingray to get so large offers hope such endangered species are still able to thrive.
The discovery also provides crucial info about the stingray as a species. Hogan describes the giant stingray as a fish that is still poorly understood. Scientists still do not know a lot about their life cycle and migration behaviors. The discovery of several large stingrays in recent years can help pinpoint where and how they spawn which can make it easier for conservation. To help maintain Boramy’s value for study, it was set free after it was fully measured. Hopefully, it can provide clues about how these creatures live and how to protect their future.