8-Foot Giant Catfish Caught in Cambodia

Mekong Giant Catfish Photos (Pictures)
    1 of 4   Next >>


November 19, 2007Captured just before midnight on November 13 by fishers in Cambodia, this Mekong giant catfish is 8 feet long (2.4 meters long) ands weighs 450 pounds (204 kilograms).

"This is the only giant catfish that has been caught this year so far, making it the worst year on record for catch of giant fish species," said Zeb Hogan (far right), a fisheries biologist at the University of Reno in Nevada.

After collecting data on the fish, Hogan released it unharmed.

Giant catfish were once plentiful throughout Southeast Asia's Mekong River watershed, including the Tonle Sap Riverhome of the fish in these exclusive pictures taken near Phnom Penh.

But in the last century the Mekong giant catfish population has declined by 95 to 99 percent, scientists say. Only a few hundred adult giant catfish may remain.

Since 2000 five to ten fish have been caught by accident each year throughout the Mekong area.

Earlier this year Hogan, a National Geographic "emerging explorer," launched the three-year Megafishes Project to document the world's giant freshwater fish (See photos of other giant fish.)

The project is funded in part by the National Geographic Conservation Trust and Expeditions Council. (National Geographic News is owned by the National Geographic Society.)

Stefan Lovgren

 More Photos in the News
 Today's Top 15 Most Popular Stories
 Free Email Newsletter: "Focus on Photography"
—Photograph courtesy Zeb Hogan/University of Nevada-Reno/National Geographic Emerging Explorer
 
NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS




 

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.