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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rare giant catfish dies in net

Rare giant catfish dies in net

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Residents look at a giant catfish that was netted in the Tonle Sap River on the weekend. Photograph supplied

An increasingly rare giant catfish, one of the 1,000 or so believed to exist by the government, died Saturday after becoming tangled not once, but twice in the nets of fishermen in the capital’s Russei Keo district.

Nao Thouk, director of the Fishery Administration at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, told the Post yesterday that the catfish weighed 220 kilograms, measured 2.6 metres in length and was thought to be between 30 and 40 years old.

“We had received the fish’s corpse to keep as a sample for exhibition… as it is a rare fish,” he said, adding that it would be tested to determine its true age.

Thouk said that the fish had become entangled on Friday and was released by fishermen, only to be trapped in a similar net the next day.

On November 15, 2011, an even larger example of the species, this one weighing about 300 kilograms, was found floating on the Mekong River near Chruy Armpel village in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district.

The Mekong’s giant catfish is a critically endangered species and fishing of it is formally banned.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Yuthana at yuthana.kim@phnompenhpost.com

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