Fish experts believe the giant stingray, such as this one in Cambodia's Mekong River, is the largest freshwater species on Earth. With recorded sizes up to 10.5 ft (3.2 m) and 660 lb (300 kg), the Mekong giant catfish currently holds the Guinness Book of World Records position 'for the largest freshwater fish in the world. Since 1990 wild stocks are thought to have undergone a decrease of over 80%. In Vietnam, the biggest stingrays are found in Mekong part belonging Tien river, Tan Hoa B hamlet, Tan An commune, Tan Chau town, An Giang. Some live across incredibly vast ranges, while some live only in an isolated region or even a single river system. On our website, you can browse a variety of travel options and cruise itineraries to discover the Mekong Delta at its best, together with some well-designed travel packages to further explore the beauty of Southern Vietnam. The worlds biggest freshwater fish and 4 out of the top ten giant freshwater fish species can be found in the Mekong River which flows through Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. VietNamNet Bridge – There is no river in Vietnam which has as many giant fish like the Mekong River. The Mekong River flows through many Asian countries, descending into Vietnam with the name of the Mekong River. It is a species of freshwater stingrays setting in the Indochinese peninsula and Borneo island of Indonesia. It’s a pelagic species inhabiting main river channels and larger tributaries. Flagfish or Pla Thepa fish can reach a mass of 200 kg, while their greatest body length is 3 m. Distributed in the lower Mekong River, flagfish can be found in China and Myanmar regions. The fish live primarily in the main channel of the river, where the water depth is over 10 m, In the past, fishermen reported the fish in a small number of the Mekong's tributaries. One of the largest fish in the world, the Mekong giant catfish grows to 10 feet and 650 pounds. You can find these fish in freshwater habitats and coastal regions of every continent except Antarctica. It has grey to white coloring, no stripes, no teeth, and has little to no barbells. That’s the weight of the largest ever Mekong giant catfish recorded. 3 Giant Freshwater Stingray: freshwater stingray is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. VietNamNet Bridge – There is no river in Vietnam which has as many giant fish like the Mekong River. A 9 foot, 293kg specimen was caught in Thailand in 2006 and is thought to be the largest freshwater fish ever caught. They live in Eurasia, Africa, the Americas, Australia, and many surrounding islands. The back of the fish is in dark brown and the color of the abdomen and the fins is a bit lighter. This Mekong giant catfish was weighed at 646 pounds by researchers working on a project to identify, study and conserve large freshwater fish around the world. Giant barb or Trei Kol Raing is the largest species of cyprinid in the world. Giant Mekong Catfish – Freshwater Fish Species in Thailand Species: Pangasianodon gigas Common names: Giant Mekong Catfish, Mekong Giant Catfish.Thai Name: Pla buk. Primarily a herbivore, but also feeds on smaller fish and crustaceans. The Mekong River© Daniel Cheong / www.flickr.com. Rare aquatic life includes the endangered giant freshwater stingray that reaches about 8 feet in diameter, Mekong giant catfish growing to over 750 pounds, and the freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin. The Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas) is found only in the Mekong River and is one of the largest freshwater fish species in the world.It is also extremely elusive! Next up is another Mekong river giant fish, being carp. It’s beyond the limits of most public aquaria to house one of these long-term. December 15, 2017 - Villagers rescued a 440-pound Mekong giant catfish displaced by recent flooding in southern Thailand. During the flood season, they can eat fruit, trees, and grass on land. Habitat. It is one of the largest carp species in the world. If this seems a touch extreme consider that not only is it on the brink of extinction, but it’s perhaps the biggest freshwater fish species in the world. These are most special fish species in Mekong river. Experts are concerned that this species may not last much longer, since pollution and interference with its river habitat have already reduced their numbers. You can easily catch the fish of over 1.5 m long and more than 45 kg in weight as the large fish are now very rare. Because these fish do not have teeth, they are capable of obtaining food from algae grown on submerged rock surfaces. This specimen measured more than 13 feet (4 meters) long. This report highlights the dangers associated with hydropower development on the mainstream of the lower Mekong River basin. Unfortunately related species such as Pangasius hypophthalmus and Pangasius sanitwongsei are widely available in the hobby. More giants inhabit this mighty river than any other on … You can find this giant carp in Mekong section from Cambodia to Vietnam, and very rare in the section above Khone Falls. Hardness: As the species' natural waters are subject to annual flooding, water parameters can vary considerably over the course of each year. This fish is a meat-eater type with its food mainly being fish and crustaceans. 3 images available; click on one to open viewer. Maximum Standard Length. Despite its size, it is a gentle giant that survives on a diet of plant matter and algae. He noted that this particular dam could cut freshwater fish habitat connectivity by about 80%. Sadly it’s numbers are declining rapidly in nature, through a combination of unsustainable fisheries, damming and habitat destruction. However, due to many different threats, catfish have migrated and lived in wider dispersion. It’s uncertain whether the Giant Freshwater Stingray is equipped to venture away from the rivers where it’s most commonly sighted to swim through the salty waters of the sea. Native to the lower Mekong river running through parts of China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Now it mainly exists in the middle Mekong region. It has declined drastically due to habitat loss and overfishing, and it is now considered Critically Endangered. With over 20 years’ experience in the field of travel and cruise industry, combined with authentic local insights, we will help you make the best of your Mekong cruise. The stingray is 220 kg in weight, more than 4.5 m long including the tail, and over 2 m in width. The species also has one of the fastest growth rates yet recorded for a fish species, possessing the ability to reach a mass of 200kg in only 6 years.eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'seriouslyfish_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_4',111,'0','0'])); Totally unsuitable for home aquaria. Juveniles have barbells that shrink as they grow older. During the dry season, Mekong carp seeks refuge in deep pools on the mainstream of the river, which is mainly the section from Kratie to Stung Treng. https://www.luxurycruisemekong.com/blog/fishing-mekong-river Dedicated breeding programmes exist in some of its native countries, aimed at restoring wild stocks. Here is another impressive fish that you can luckily get once you fishing in the Mekong. He points to the Mekong River, which runs through six Southeast Asian countries and is home to some of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. The Mekong Giant Stingray, as the name implies, is a massive species of freshwater stingray that is found in various rivers in Southeast Asia, including the Mekong. What else can you expect from the Mekong river? Yet it’s good to know that these giant fishes are somewhere underneath the Mekong water, just like the river itself hiding many charms for travelers to explore. A giant freshwater stingray (Himantura polylepis) native to the rivers of Southeast Asia. Moreover, as among the richest rivers in the world, Mekong river is the habitat of hundreds of aquatic species, including giant and rare fish, so-called “freshwater monsters” types. This can lead to problems with the fish banging into the tank glass and items of decor, often resulting in injury. The river provides an endless source of cool water for fields, which is a source of alluvial deposits year after year. However, the fish species that used to be called “the King fish” of Mekong River is Mekong giant carp or Siamese giant carp (Catlocarpio siamensis), the largest species of cyprinid in the world. Mekong Giant Fish Species, with participants from the four riparian countries. A 9 foot, 293kg specimen was caught in Thailand in 2006 and is thought to be the largest freshwater fish ever caught. Located in Southeast Asia, this giant catfish is unique. Catfishes in Mekong have large and flat heads, wide mouth with two long antennae in the upper jaw, pelvic fins long to the caudal fin, small dorsal fins in the front. But researchers have long believed there are bigger fish out there, with a mysterious giant freshwater … Mature females are likely to be rounder-bellied than males. It’s a pelagic species inhabiting main river channels and larger tributaries. People used to catch a giant stingray on the Mekong River with a fishing rod. Summary. Mekong giant catfish are not only one of the largest freshwater fish but also the heaviest freshwater fish as well. It’s fair to say that this is one species that shouldn’t be considered an aquarium subject under any circumstance. Luxury Cruise Mekong is a reliable one-stop-shop for travelers who love to cruise and travel the Mekong River in style and at your own pace. It took 2 hours for Thai fishermen taking a turn holding the fishing rod to pull the fish to shore. Unsurprisingly it hasn’t been spawned in an aquarium, but has been bred in large numbers on fish farms. International trade is also banned (it’s included in Appendix I of CITES), so you’re unlikely to see it on sale anywhere. The Mekong is highly species diverse and supports four of the six largest freshwater fish globally, three of which, including Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas), are Critically Endangered. With a length of up to 3.2 m and weight up to 300 kg, catfish is one of the largest freshwater fish species in the world. Population and Distribution It is now only found in the mainstream of the Lower Mekong in Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Mekong giant catfish, is a large, critically endangered species of catfish in the shark catfish family, native to the Mekong basin in Southeast Asia and adjacent China. In Thailand some 10,000 captive bred fish have been reintroduced to natural waters in a project co-ordinated by the Thai Department of Fisheries. Let’s find out some unique marine animals in this river. Officially, the heavyweight title belongs to the Mekong giant catfish, with a specimen caught in northern Thailand in 2005 weighing an astounding 646 pounds (293 kilograms). The Mekong, twelfth longest river in the world, is the habitat of some of the world's largest freshwater fish: the giant catfish, giant carp, and giant stingray. The main food for catfish is zooplankton, juveniles, fibrous algae, and accidentally some ingest larvae. They only move out from these part during short hunting times when other small fish migrate through its area. Freshwater ecosystems are home to an incredible diversity of species. Pangasianodon is separated from other pangasiid generea primarily on the basis of some morphological differences including a lack of teeth and massively reduced barbels in adult specimens. It is believed that they live all year round in the Mekong mainstream because their food sources are aquatic animals living in the bottom water. These migratory fish are found only in the Mae Klong, Mekong, and Chao Phraya river basins in Indochina. Distribution: They are Native to the Mekong basin in Southeast Asia.Historically, the fish’s natural range reached from the lower Mekong in Vietnam, above the tidally influenced brackish water of the river’s delta. The results are yet to be published, but it’s to be hoped that the organisations involved are successful in outlining an effective, sustainable conservation strategy for this giant among catfish. Giant Freshwater Stingray (Himantura chaophraya) AKA: Freshwater whipray.This is the unofficial king of the Mega fish with a published weight of 600kg. Many giant size fish have been recorded in the Mekong river and recognized as one of the largest freshwater fish species in the world. Although endangered in its wild habitat, this species is widely stocked into fishing lakes in Thailand. It’s a very active open water species and tends to be skittish when kept in cramped conditions. GLAND, Switzerland, June 29, 2005 (ENS) - A Mekong giant catfish believed to be the world's largest freshwater fish has been caught in … It is considered critically endangered due to accelerating habitat loss. This huge catfish is a critically endangered species because of overfishing and over-harvesting.It used to be found from the lower Mekong all the way to the northern part of the river in the Yunnan Province of China. The fish has very low-set eyes which somehow gives it a slightly sorrowful appearance. The largest freshwater fish in the world, its natural habitat is the Mekong River from China to Cambodia and Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia. Each week, we will profile one of the most extraordinary. More recent studies have shown that the existing population has retained much of its genetic diversity, so there is at least a chance of recovery. Has an unconfirmed maximum length of 120″ (300cm) and over 350kg in weight! It is also one of the most biologically rich rivers in the world, home to over 850 fish species. The Working Group will review and compile existing knowledge on the Mekong giant fish species regarding: important habitats, migrations, biology and life cycles, as well as artificial breeding and results of release of artificially-bred fingerlings, etc. These fish are often caught in flooded areas. They often gather at the beginning of the rainy season and migrate upstream to breed, and often live in the main river branches with a depth of 10 m or more. It has declined drastically due to habitat loss and overfishing, and it is now considered critically endangered. WWF’s new River of Giants: giant fish of the Mekong report profiles four giant fish living in the Mekong that rank within the top 10 largest freshwater fish on the planet. From an annual catch of over 60 specimens in 1990, only 8-11 were being caught per year in the early part of the 21st century. It migrates huge distances to spawn. © Copyright 2008 - 2020 Luxury Cruise Mekong - All rights reserved. Has an unconfirmed maximum length of 120″ (300cm) and over 350kg in weight! Aquarium filters which have been highly recommended by customers in your area can be found, To search for high quality aquarium heaters, click. They are even listed as a rare species in the IUCN Red List. The Fish start to congregate at the beginning of the rainy seasons and then migrate upstream to begin spawning. According to the fishermen, during the dry season, adult fish will usually stay in the deep part of the river. There are fresh-water fish species of up to 300 or even 500kg in weight in this river.  This large fish species feeds on zooplankton as babies, and they become herbivores and feed on plants and algae after about a year. For now, you might be amazed at how big and special Mekong river fish species are, right? Catfish naturally lives in the Mekong basin in Vietnam to the north of the river in China’s Yunnan province. Emerging environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques have potential for monitoring threatened freshwater biodiversity, yet have not been applied in complex and biodiverse tropical ecosystems such as the … Although in 1996, scientists stated that these species live commonly in the middle of the Mekong River; now this fish is quite rare in all the river. The Giant Mekong Catfish in Thailand is a contender for the world’s largest freshwater fish and has been caught at incredible weights to 293kg’s in the wild. General hardness is thus not critical, and anywhere in the range 2-30°H would be acceptable. Weighing nearly 363 kg, 2.4 meters wide and 4.3 meters long, this giant stingray on the Mekong River in Thailand may be the largest freshwater fish caught by fishing rods and strings. In 2005 and 2006 a collaborative project funded by the Darwin Project, entitled “Development of a conservation strategy for the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish” was carried out, as no overall plan for saving the species currently exists. You can find both groups of young and adult fish remain in the Mekong mainstream and possibly in large tributaries without any of them in flooded areas. Rivers, lakes, swamps, peatlands and all the other freshwater wetlands harbour more than 10% of the world's species. Scientists have only known this fish since 1930 when it was discovered at a fish market in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and so far there has not been much research on fish. Habitat and Ecology The Mekong giant catfish is the largest freshwater fish and is endemic to the Mekong River. Whilst not quite as big as P. gigas these also grow huge and make equally unsuitable aquarium inhabitants. How can anyone hope to provide the conditions required by such a beast in their home? It’s been listed as “critically endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species since 2003, and will almost certainly remain there for the forseeable future. The population is in decline, with scientists estimating that numbers have decreased by about 90% in the last 20 years. Catfish, Giant Mekong. In nature it’s a migratory species, moving upstream to spawn during the late spring and summer months. Among the most unique type, you can have Giant freshwater stingrays with its’ scientific nomenclature being Himantura polylepis. Nicknamed the "swamp king," the catfish was stranded in shallow water more than two miles away from its home. There are fresh-water fish species of up to 300 or even 500kg in weight in this river. Giant Mekong Catfish are big river fish native to the Mekong basin. Their maximum length and weight of this fish can reach 2.4 m and 250 kg. The Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas) is ranked as critically endangered on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Catching them is a matter of mere luck. World's Largest Fish Caught in Thailand. Since 2000, only 5 specimens have been captured by fishermen. This fish mainly eat plants like algae, phytoplankton. This Mekong giant catfish was weighed at 646 pounds by researchers working on a project to identify, study and conserve large freshwater fish around the world. The small carp you find in the supermarket can be super in the Mekong River. The rescuers hauled the fish out with a giant net and transported it back home on a motorbike trailer, with the entire rescue taking more than six hours. Now people only see them appear in the middle of the Mekong River. Mekong Giant Catfish: Catfish Giant Mekong river used to abound around the border of Thailand and Myanmar, but now they are becoming endangered due to habitat loss and overfishing. 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