The Phnom Penh Post –
Areas along the Mekong River are set to become hotspots in the Kingdom for conducting scientific studies on the unexpected survival of endangered species and other biodiversity-related subjects, according to officials.
The remarks came after scientists from the Wonders of the Mekong project and the Cambodian Fisheries Administration (FiA) announced that a 300kg giant freshwater stingray (Urogymnus polylepis) caught by a fishermanin the Mekong on June 13 was the world’s largest freshwater fish ever officially weighed and measured – a claim that excluded beluga sturgeons, which technically also inhabit saltwater environments.
The endangered stingray, caught in Koh Preah village of Stung Treng province’s Siem Bok district and named “Boramy” which translates as “full moon” in Khmer, dethroned the previous record-holder, a 293kg Mekong giant catfish caught in Thailand in 2005.
In Posoeun, director of the Stung Treng provincial Department of Tourism, said Boramy’s discovery would be a major draw for inquisitive marine biologists and other researchers to unravel the secrets to the survival of endangered species in the Cambodian stretch of the Mekong River.
“The Mekong River in Cambodia is a safe haven for all kinds of living species, especially some of the world’s rarest and most endangered, such as the Irrawaddy dolphin and the world’s largest stingray, and so on,” he told The Post.