• Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

World’s biggest freshwater fish tracking gives Wonders of the Mekong researchers with much more details about the mysterious species


May 26, 2023

Final year, a fisher caught the world’s biggest freshwater fish, a Mekong giant stingray, in the Mekong River in Cambodia. Soon after tracking the fish for a year, researchers are publishing investigation 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 guarding the exceptional Mekong River, the fish that occupy the river and the fishing communities that rely on the well being and productivity of the river.

Upon arriving to the internet site of the record-breaking catch, the Wonders of the Mekong group attached an acoustic tracking device to the fish. The project had been functioning 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 element of the international collaborative Wonders of the Mekong project. Students and faculty from the International Water Center have traveled to Cambodia several instances to assistance investigation 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 comparatively steady. On the other hand, the species faces threats from habitat fragmentation by prospective building of hydropower dams, pollution and overfishing. The Cambodian government lately proposed establishing the Mekong River as a UNESCO Globe Heritage Web page which would bolster conservation efforts.

Now, following 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 Threat: 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 vital not only to our efforts to assure the survival of the world’s biggest freshwater fish, but also the preservation of an region of fantastic fisheries production that gives 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 investigation project that initiated the study.

The very first investigation write-up shares information about the movements of almost 300 fish in the Mekong River that represent 27 species, such as the giant freshwater stingray, and how the developing of proposed hydropower dams on the Mekong River could have an effect on the fish and the impacts of designating the Mekong River in Cambodia as a UNESCO Globe Heritage internet site could have on the area.

The second write-up is a evaluation that compiles all the recognized details about the giant freshwater stingray. The investigation incorporates 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 distinct species of freshwater stingray, but much more investigation wants to be performed. The evaluation highlights how understudied the fish is.

The third investigation write-up 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 normally stayed inside the similar deep pool of water, which means that the establishment of fish reserves could be essential for the fish.

The investigation collected about the giant freshwater stingray will contribute to policy choices produced about the Mekong River, assisting to shield the fish and people today that rely on the Mekong.

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