Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fisherman accidentally hooks giant freshwater ray in Mekong

Fisherman accidentally hooks giant freshwater ray in Mekong

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The female giant freshwater stingray weighing 180kg was caught in Stung Treng province on May 4. WONDERS OF THE MEKONG

Fisherman accidentally hooks giant freshwater ray in Mekong

A 180kg female giant freshwater stingray was accidentally caught by Mekong River fishermen in Koh Preah community in Koh Preah village and commune of Stung Treng province’s Siem Bok district.

Sin Piseth, a river guard based in Koh Preah village, told The Post on May 9 that the Stingray was caught by a fisherman named Korn Sopheap after it swallowed one of his baited hooks on the end of a line he had cast into the water with his fishing rod.

“After he saw that he caught the giant stingray, he called out to villagers to help him as the stingray dove further into the water in the middle of the river but remained hooked on his line,” he said.

“Then villagers came and pulled the stingray to the side of the river and called the river guard who contacted the Wonders of the Mekong project to record the details about it before releasing it back to the river,” he said.

Piseth said the Wonders of the Mekong team had measured the stingray at 1.85m wide with a 2m-long tail. From its nose to the end of its tail, the stingray was nearly 4m in length.

According to Wonders of the Mekong, fishermen on the river use the same rods, reels, lines and hooks that others do globally in order to catch fish, and stingrays can sometimes accidentally get caught on the hooks while trying to eat the bait or a fish that had already taken the fisherman’s bait and also gotten hooked.

The fisherman that caught the stingray regretted that it had happened, saying he wanted to help conserve the giant animals, which is endangered throughout the Mekong River.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A female giant freshwater stingray weighing 180kg is caught in Stung Treng province on Wednesday. WONDERS OF THE MEKONG

“He contacted the Wonders of the Mekong team right away and asked us to tag, measure and release her back into the wild,” said their press release.

Pheng Boeun, head of the Koh Preah fishing community, said this is not the first time that a giant stingray had been caught by a local fisherman.

“In the Mekong River in Siem Bok district, there are many such stingrays, and many of them that weigh between 30 and 40kg have been caught in the past and were then released,” he said.

He said officials from the Wonders of the Mekong had provided fishermen with some incentives such as money and some material goods in exchange for reporting the catch to them immediately. The project team travels straight to the reported location and measures the stingray and then tags them before releasing them back into the river.

He said there are normally two kinds of stingrays in that area of the river: the buffalo stingray, which is black, and the cow stingray, which is red.

World Wide Fund for Nature Cambodia (WWF-Cambodia) said the giant stingray is the largest and heaviest species of freshwater fish in the world.

Despite their size, they were not discovered and catalogued by scientists until 1990. They are now confirmed to be living in some river systems in Southeast Asia and northern Australia.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro