Now THAT is a big fish!
A fisherman in Cambodia just caught what scientists believe is the largest ever freshwater fish in the world. The man snagged a 13-foot snout-to-tail stingray in the Mekong River.
Check out the footage:
In the words of the late Steve Irwin (RIP): "Crikey!"
This thing is absolutely ginormous!
The stingray, captured on June 13, measured almost 4 meters (13 feet) from snout to tail and weighed slightly under 300 kilograms (660 pounds), according to a statement Monday by Wonders of the Mekong, a joint Cambodian-U.S. research project.
The previous record for a freshwater fish was a 293-kilogram (646-pound) Mekong giant catfish, discovered in Thailand in 2005, the group said.
I don't know what's more impressive, that this dude broke the record by just 14 pounds, or that the previous record-holder was a catfish.
But stingrays are long and flat. So 660 pounds spread out like that is astonishing.
The stingray was snagged by a local fisherman south of Stung Treng in northeastern Cambodia. The fisherman alerted a nearby team of scientists from the Wonders of the Mekong project, which has publicized its conservation work in communities along the river.
The scientists arrived within hours of getting a post-midnight call with the news, and were amazed at what they saw.
"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," Wonders of the Mekong leader Zeb Hogan said in an online interview from the University of Nevada in Reno. The university is partnering with the Cambodian Fisheries Administration and USAID, the U.S. government's international development agency.
Imagine you're out fishing with your buddies in the middle of the night and you catch hold of a 13-foot-long river monster.
These guys knew this was a huge deal. They called out the scientists right away to document their discovery.
Check out some of the photos from the AP story:
The overhead shots let you really see how huge it is.
The team that rushed to the site inserted a tagging device near the tail of the mighty fish before releasing it. The device will send tracking information for the next year, providing unprecedented data on giant stingray behavior in Cambodia.
"The giant stingray is a very poorly understood fish. Its name, even its scientific name, has changed several times in the last 20 years," Hogan said. "It's found throughout Southeast 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."
This is an exciting discovery and a very awesome one of God's creatures that we now have the opportunity to more fully understand.
Researchers say it's the fourth giant stingray reported in the same area in the past two months, all of them females. They think this may be a spawning hotspot for the species.
Local residents nicknamed the stingray "Boramy," or "full moon," because of its round shape and because the moon was on the horizon when it was freed on June 14. In addition to the honor of having caught the record-breaker, the lucky fisherman was compensated at market rate, meaning he received a payment of around $600.
I think it's awesome that we are still discovering new critters and learning more about creation all the time.
And it's also very cool that the finder was given market value for his catch after they let it go.
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