World’s largest freshwater fish draws attention to delicate ecosystem

Tuesday, May 30, 2023 - 17:12 in Biology & Nature

Late one night last summer, Seila Chea got an urgent call from a fisherman on the Mekong River in northeastern Cambodia. He’d hooked an endangered giant freshwater stingray—and it was a monster. Chea, project manager for the Wonders of The Mekong initiative, quickly organized a posse that sped out to the river to bargain for the creature’s life. Nearly 4 meters from snout to tail, the female weighed in at a hair under 300 kilograms, making her the world’s largest known freshwater fish. “It was a full moon that night,” Chea says, “so I named her Boramy,” the Khmer word for full moon. The scientists paid market price for her meat, about $600, implanted a radio tag at the base of her tail, and set her free. Hydrophone tracking of Boramy over...

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