• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

World’s largest freshwater fish monitoring supplies Wonders of the Mekong researchers with extra details about the mysterious species


May 26, 2023

Final 12 months, a fisher caught the world’s largest freshwater fish, a Mekong large stingray, within the Mekong River in Cambodia. After monitoring the fish for a 12 months, researchers are publishing analysis concerning the mysterious species.

In June 2022, in a distant location in Cambodia, a fisher reeled in a large large freshwater stingray. The fisher contacted researchers from the USAID-funded Wonders of the Mekong undertaking, a undertaking aimed towards defending the distinctive Mekong River, the fish that occupy the river and the fishing communities that depend on the well being and productiveness of the river.

Upon arriving to the positioning of the record-breaking catch, the Wonders of the Mekong workforce hooked up an acoustic monitoring gadget to the fish. The undertaking had been engaged on deploying monitoring know-how that permits the researchers to review the motion of fish and the place they reside, and the large stingray was the primary fish to be fitted with the gadget.

The College of Nevada, Reno’s International Water Middle is a part of the worldwide collaborative Wonders of the Mekong undertaking. College students and college from the International Water Middle have traveled to Cambodia many instances to assist analysis initiatives, acquire knowledge and launch fish.

The elusive large freshwater stingray has been listed as endangered by the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature, however in Cambodian components of the Mekong River, populations of the fish appear to be comparatively steady. Nonetheless, the species faces threats from habitat fragmentation by potential development of hydropower dams, air pollution and overfishing. The Cambodian authorities lately proposed establishing the Mekong River as a UNESCO World Heritage Website which might bolster conservation efforts.

Now, after gathering knowledge for a 12 months, Wonders of the Mekong researchers are publishing their work in a particular challenge of Water, a peer-reviewed, open entry journal. This challenge, titled “Endangered Fish, Rivers at Threat: Spatial Facets of Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation,” will function three articles from the Wonders of the Mekong workforce.

“The data we’re studying concerning the stingray and different critically endangered fish is essential not solely to our efforts to make sure the survival of the world’s largest freshwater fish, but in addition the preservation of an space of nice fisheries manufacturing that gives meals for thousands and thousands of individuals,” says Zeb Hogan, a biology professor on the College of Nevada, Reno, who leads the Wonders of the Mekong analysis undertaking that initiated the research.

The primary analysis article shares knowledge concerning the actions of practically 300 fish within the Mekong River that signify 27 species, together with the large freshwater stingray, and the way the constructing of proposed hydropower dams on the Mekong River might have an effect on the fish and the impacts of designating the Mekong River in Cambodia as a UNESCO World Heritage website might have on the area.

The second article is a overview that compiles all of the recognized details about the large freshwater stingray. The analysis consists of interviews with native fishers who’ve reported even bigger fish than the record-breaking fish caught final June. There’s the likelihood that there’s a totally different species of freshwater stingray, however extra analysis must be performed. The overview highlights how understudied the fish is.

The third analysis article discusses how monitoring data might be helpful in designating fish reserves for conservation of the Mekong large freshwater stingray. Utilizing the acoustic monitoring data, researchers present that the large freshwater stingray they tagged sometimes stayed inside the identical deep pool of water, that means that the institution of fish reserves might be essential for the fish.

The analysis collected concerning the large freshwater stingray will contribute to coverage choices made concerning the Mekong River, serving to to guard the fish and folks that depend on the Mekong.