He noted that this particular dam could cut freshwater fish habitat connectivity by about 80%. Primarily a herbivore, but also feeds on smaller fish and crustaceans. They only move out from these part during short hunting times when other small fish migrate through its area. Pangasianodon is separated from other pangasiid generea primarily on the basis of some morphological differences including a lack of teeth and massively reduced barbels in adult specimens. Their maximum length and weight of this fish can reach 2.4 m and 250 kg. Despite its size, it is a gentle giant that survives on a diet of plant matter and algae. Giant Mekong Catfish are big river fish native to the Mekong basin. This report highlights the dangers associated with hydropower development on the mainstream of the lower Mekong River basin. Mekong Giant Fish Species, with participants from the four riparian countries. In nature it’s a migratory species, moving upstream to spawn during the late spring and summer months. During the flood season, they can eat fruit, trees, and grass on land. Moreover, as among the richest rivers in the world, Mekong river is the habitat of hundreds of aquatic species, including giant and rare fish, so-called “freshwater monsters” types. The Mekong giant catfish, is a large, critically endangered species of catfish in the shark catfish family, native to the Mekong basin in Southeast Asia and adjacent China. This Mekong giant catfish was weighed at 646 pounds by researchers working on a project to identify, study and conserve large freshwater fish around the world. According to the fishermen, during the dry season, adult fish will usually stay in the deep part of the river. Here is another impressive fish that you can luckily get once you fishing in the Mekong. If this seems a touch extreme consider that not only is it on the brink of extinction, but it’s perhaps the biggest freshwater fish species in the world. Has an unconfirmed maximum length of 120″ (300cm) and over 350kg in weight! It took 2 hours for Thai fishermen taking a turn holding the fishing rod to pull the fish to shore. On our website, you can browse a variety of travel options and cruise itineraries to discover the Mekong Delta at its best, together with some well-designed travel packages to further explore the beauty of Southern Vietnam. This fish mainly eat plants like algae, phytoplankton. It’s a very active open water species and tends to be skittish when kept in cramped conditions. GLAND, Switzerland, June 29, 2005 (ENS) - A Mekong giant catfish believed to be the world's largest freshwater fish has been caught in … These fish are often caught in flooded areas. The largest freshwater fish in the world, its natural habitat is the Mekong River from China to Cambodia and Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia. The They often gather at the beginning of the rainy season and migrate upstream to breed, and often live in the main river branches with a depth of 10 m or more. Flagfish or Pla Thepa fish can reach a mass of 200 kg, while their greatest body length is 3 m. Distributed in the lower Mekong River, flagfish can be found in China and Myanmar regions. Rare aquatic life includes the endangered giant freshwater stingray that reaches about 8 feet in diameter, Mekong giant catfish growing to over 750 pounds, and the freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin. There are fresh-water fish species of up to 300 or even 500kg in weight in this river. Since 1990 wild stocks are thought to have undergone a decrease of over 80%. The Mekong River flows through many Asian countries, descending into Vietnam with the name of the Mekong River. 3 Giant Freshwater Stingray: freshwater stingray is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. Among the most unique type, you can have Giant freshwater stingrays with its’ scientific nomenclature being Himantura polylepis. A giant freshwater stingray (Himantura polylepis) native to the rivers of Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, the biggest stingrays are found in Mekong part belonging Tien river, Tan Hoa B hamlet, Tan An commune, Tan Chau town, An Giang. The Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas) is ranked as critically endangered on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This huge catfish is a critically endangered species because of overfishing and over-harvesting.It used to be found from the lower Mekong all the way to the northern part of the river in the Yunnan Province of China. It’s beyond the limits of most public aquaria to house one of these long-term. WWF’s new River of Giants: giant fish of the Mekong report profiles four giant fish living in the Mekong that rank within the top 10 largest freshwater fish on the planet. Summary. Sadly it’s numbers are declining rapidly in nature, through a combination of unsustainable fisheries, damming and habitat destruction. You can find this giant carp in Mekong section from Cambodia to Vietnam, and very rare in the section above Khone Falls. VietNamNet Bridge – There is no river in Vietnam which has as many giant fish like the Mekong River. The fish has very low-set eyes which somehow gives it a slightly sorrowful appearance. Fish experts believe the giant stingray, such as this one in Cambodia's Mekong River, is the largest freshwater species on Earth. In 2005 and 2006 a collaborative project funded by the Darwin Project, entitled “Development of a conservation strategy for the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish” was carried out, as no overall plan for saving the species currently exists. The results are yet to be published, but it’s to be hoped that the organisations involved are successful in outlining an effective, sustainable conservation strategy for this giant among catfish. He points to the Mekong River, which runs through six Southeast Asian countries and is home to some of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. Each week, we will profile one of the most extraordinary. 41C Tay Ho Road, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, Vietnam. It’s uncertain whether the Giant Freshwater Stingray is equipped to venture away from the rivers where it’s most commonly sighted to swim through the salty waters of the sea. You can easily catch the fish of over 1.5 m long and more than 45 kg in weight as the large fish are now very rare. It is a species of freshwater stingrays setting in the Indochinese peninsula and Borneo island of Indonesia. Habitat and Ecology The Mekong giant catfish is the largest freshwater fish and is endemic to the Mekong River. For now, you might be amazed at how big and special Mekong river fish species are, right? The Giant Mekong Catfish in Thailand is a contender for the world’s largest freshwater fish and has been caught at incredible weights to 293kg’s in the wild. It is believed that they live all year round in the Mekong mainstream because their food sources are aquatic animals living in the bottom water. Let’s find out some unique marine animals in this river. How can anyone hope to provide the conditions required by such a beast in their home? Juveniles have barbells that shrink as they grow older. They are even listed as a rare species in the IUCN Red List. This specimen measured more than 13 feet (4 meters) long. The Mekong, twelfth longest river in the world, is the habitat of some of the world's largest freshwater fish: the giant catfish, giant carp, and giant stingray. The fish live primarily in the main channel of the river, where the water depth is over 10 m, In the past, fishermen reported the fish in a small number of the Mekong's tributaries. Mature females are likely to be rounder-bellied than males. Although endangered in its wild habitat, this species is widely stocked into fishing lakes in Thailand. It is one of the largest carp species in the world. It has declined drastically due to habitat loss and overfishing, and it is now considered critically endangered. People used to catch a giant stingray on the Mekong River with a fishing rod. Although in 1996, scientists stated that these species live commonly in the middle of the Mekong River; now this fish is quite rare in all the river. With a length of up to 3.2 m and weight up to 300 kg, catfish is one of the largest freshwater fish species in the world. Experts are concerned that this species may not last much longer, since pollution and interference with its river habitat have already reduced their numbers. These migratory fish are found only in the Mae Klong, Mekong, and Chao Phraya river basins in Indochina. Emerging environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques have potential for monitoring threatened freshwater biodiversity, yet have not been applied in complex and biodiverse tropical ecosystems such as the … Maximum Standard Length. A 9 foot, 293kg specimen was caught in Thailand in 2006 and is thought to be the largest freshwater fish ever caught. Located in Southeast Asia, this giant catfish is unique. It’s a pelagic species inhabiting main river channels and larger tributaries. The population is in decline, with scientists estimating that numbers have decreased by about 90% in the last 20 years. It migrates huge distances to spawn. Whilst not quite as big as P. gigas these also grow huge and make equally unsuitable aquarium inhabitants. © Copyright 2008 - 2020 Luxury Cruise Mekong - All rights reserved. The worlds biggest freshwater fish and 4 out of the top ten giant freshwater fish species can be found in the Mekong River which flows through Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Rivers, lakes, swamps, peatlands and all the other freshwater wetlands harbour more than 10% of the world's species. Scientists have only known this fish since 1930 when it was discovered at a fish market in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and so far there has not been much research on fish. Giant Mekong Catfish – Freshwater Fish Species in Thailand Species: Pangasianodon gigas Common names: Giant Mekong Catfish, Mekong Giant Catfish.Thai Name: Pla buk. However, due to many different threats, catfish have migrated and lived in wider dispersion. International trade is also banned (it’s included in Appendix I of CITES), so you’re unlikely to see it on sale anywhere. A 9 foot, 293kg specimen was caught in Thailand in 2006 and is thought to be the largest freshwater fish ever caught. The Mekong Giant Stingray, as the name implies, is a massive species of freshwater stingray that is found in various rivers in Southeast Asia, including the Mekong. Weighing nearly 363 kg, 2.4 meters wide and 4.3 meters long, this giant stingray on the Mekong River in Thailand may be the largest freshwater fish caught by fishing rods and strings. The river provides an endless source of cool water for fields, which is a source of alluvial deposits year after year. During the dry season, Mekong carp seeks refuge in deep pools on the mainstream of the river, which is mainly the section from Kratie to Stung Treng. It’s a pelagic species inhabiting main river channels and larger tributaries. 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