Final year, a fisher caught the world’s biggest freshwater fish, a Mekong giant stingray, in the Mekong River in Cambodia. Just after tracking the fish for a year, researchers are publishing analysis about the mysterious species.
In June 2022, in a remote place in Cambodia, a fisher reeled in a enormous giant freshwater stingray. The fisher contacted researchers from the USAID-funded Wonders of the Mekong project, a project aimed toward safeguarding the exclusive Mekong River, the fish that occupy the river and the fishing communities that rely on the wellness and productivity of the river.
Upon arriving to the website of the record-breaking catch, the Wonders of the Mekong group attached an acoustic tracking device to the fish. The project had been operating on deploying tracking technologies that enables the researchers to study the movement of fish and exactly where they reside, and the giant stingray was the very first fish to be fitted with the device.
The University of Nevada, Reno’s International Water Center is component of the international collaborative Wonders of the Mekong project. Students and faculty from the International Water Center have traveled to Cambodia several occasions to assistance analysis projects, gather information and release fish.
The elusive giant freshwater stingray has been listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, but in Cambodian components of the Mekong River, populations of the fish look to be somewhat steady. Having said that, the species faces threats from habitat fragmentation by possible building of hydropower dams, pollution and overfishing. The Cambodian government lately proposed establishing the Mekong River as a UNESCO Planet Heritage Web page which would bolster conservation efforts.
Now, immediately after collecting information for a year, Wonders of the Mekong researchers are publishing their function in a unique problem of Water, a peer-reviewed, open access journal. This problem, titled “Endangered Fish, Rivers at Danger: Spatial Elements of Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation,” will function 3 articles from the Wonders of the Mekong group.
“The details we are mastering about the stingray and other critically endangered fish is critical not only to our efforts to guarantee the survival of the world’s biggest freshwater fish, but also the preservation of an location of terrific fisheries production that delivers meals for millions of people today,” says Zeb Hogan, a biology professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, who leads the Wonders of the Mekong analysis project that initiated the study.
The very first analysis report shares information about the movements of practically 300 fish in the Mekong River that represent 27 species, which includes the giant freshwater stingray, and how the developing of proposed hydropower dams on the Mekong River could impact the fish and the impacts of designating the Mekong River in Cambodia as a UNESCO Planet Heritage website could have on the area.
The second report is a assessment that compiles all the identified details about the giant freshwater stingray. The analysis consists of interviews with regional fishers who have reported even bigger fish than the record-breaking fish caught final June. There is the possibility that there is a diverse species of freshwater stingray, but additional analysis demands to be performed. The assessment highlights how understudied the fish is.
The third analysis report discusses how tracking details can be helpful in designating fish reserves for conservation of the Mekong giant freshwater stingray. Employing the acoustic tracking details, researchers show that the giant freshwater stingray they tagged commonly stayed inside the similar deep pool of water, which means that the establishment of fish reserves could be essential for the fish.
The analysis collected about the giant freshwater stingray will contribute to policy choices produced about the Mekong River, assisting to safeguard the fish and people today that rely on the Mekong.