Mekong Giant Catfish

Giant Catfish
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The bagnet (dai) fishery is located in the lower part of the Tonle Sap River between 4 and 35 kilometers outside of Phnom Penh. There are 13 rows and 63 individual nets in the fishery. A single bagnet is 120 meters long and 25 meters in diameters at the mouth. The first row of nets is located near Phnom Penh city while the thirteenth row is located thirty-five kilometers north of Phnom Penh. The bagnets operate from October to March, the period when water flows out of the Great Lake down the Tonle Sap and into the Mekong and Bassac Rivers. During the peak fishing season, Seth Mydans, correspondent for the New York Times, writes that "it is almost possible to pluck dinner out of the water with bare hands." The fish is used to make a national delicacy, pra hoc, a type of fermented fish.

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Photograph by Zeb Hogan, National Geographic Conservation Trust, University of California, Davis
 
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