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World's biggest ever freshwater fish caught by Cambodian villagers

Freshwater stingray in Mekong River
The fish was caught in an area that may be a spawning ground for giant stingrays (Image credit: Getty)

Villagers in Cambodia have caught the biggest freshwater fish ever recorded – a giant stingray weighing a tremendous 661lb. The fish, which was caught on June 13, took about a dozen people to haul ashore.

After snagging the creature, a fisherman alerted scientists from Wonders of the Mekong (opens in new tab), a joint project by researchers in the US and Cambodia. Researchers tagged the 13-foot-long fish, then released it back into the river where its movements can be tracked.

"Yeah, when you see a fish this size, especially in freshwater, it is hard to comprehend, so I think all of our team was stunned," said Zeb Hogan, leader of the Wonders of the Mekong project.

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As The Guardian (opens in new tab) reports, the previous world record was held by a Mekong giant catfish, which was caught in Thailand in 2005. 

The Mokong has an extremely diverse fish population, but issues including saltwater intrusion, overfishing, and pollution have caused numbers to drop sharply in recent years. It's also feared that dam-building projects may be damaging fishes' spawning grounds.

"“The fact that the fish can still get this big is a hopeful sign for the Mekong River,” said Hogan.

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).