Hundreds of fish species identified in the Mekong

Khmer Times –

The Mekong River Commission has recorded nearly 500 species of fish in the Mekong river basin, with the majority of them native to Cambodian territories.

Previously, the MRC and researches had estimated that there were 1,148 species of fish.

However, MRC said in a news release yesterday that it has updated its Mekong Fish Species Database by identifying 474 species of fish monitored between 2003 and 2017 in member countries, noting that 80 percent are migratory fish.

It added that 225 species are native to the rivers of Sekong, Sesan and Srepok, spanning northeast Cambodia, southern Laos and the central highlands of Vietnam.

It also said that 137 migratory species of fish were identified in the Tonle Sap river, home to the largest commercial fishery in the Mekong river basin.

“But with the review of other studies from multiple sources, it was estimated that the Mekong basin had a larger figure of 1,148 fish species,” it said.

“For the first time, our database provides a comprehensive list of Mekong fish species with their key bio-ecological characteristics collected from our own monitoring and other studies,” said MRC secretariat CEO Pham Tuan Phan.

Mr Pham said the database can aid fish assessments, including species composition, abundance, stock and distribution, and bio-ecological and population dynamics studies.

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