Saturday March 5, 2022

The Nation Thailand

An international team of scientists and fisheries experts was set to release more than 1,000 sizeable fish into a Tonle Sap Lake fish reserve in Siem Reap over March 4-6. The operation aims to save some of the world’s largest species of fish that are regarded as iconic symbols of Cambodia.

Zeb Hogan, a US research biologist at the University of Nevada, Reno, said the move was “first step in an effort to restore populations of the Mekong’s largest freshwater fishes”, according to a March 4 press release from Wonders of the Mekong, a project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

“Fish reserves have been shown to be an effective tool to protect aquatic biodiversity and boost fish biomass. It’s one action, of many that are needed, to bring these species back from the brink of extinction,” said Hogan, who is also lead researcher for Wonders of the Mekong.

Among the species to be released are the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas), a catch of which currently holds the record for the world’s largest freshwater fish at 293kg, although French marine biologist Daniel Pauly and other experts have claimed that it can weigh as much as 350kg.

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