A crew of marine biologists has welcomed the invention of an endangered large freshwater stingray throughout a current expedition to a distant stretch of the Mekong River in Cambodia, although they warned the biodiversity of the world was beneath menace.
The stingray was unintentionally caught by fishermen in an 80-metre-deep pool within the Mekong in Cambodia’s northeastern Stung Treng province, and the visiting scientists helped return the animal alive.
Zeb Hogan, a fish biologist on the College of Nevada, stated discovering the 180-kilogram stingray, spanning 4 metres, was vital.
“This catch was vital as a result of it confirms the existence of those large fish within the stretch of river,” stated Hogan, who led the USAID-funded Wonders of the Mekong expedition that wrapped up final week.
“This can be a very distant stretch of river, it isn’t well-studied, it is extremely vital for fisheries and biodiversity, and it is also a stretch of river that’s beneath menace,” he stated.
The crew used unmanned submersibles geared up with lights and cameras as a part of its efforts to review the deep swimming pools within the space.
This a part of the river might undergo “devastating ecological results” if proposed hydropower dams go forward within the space, a press release from the expedition crew stated. Different threats embody unlawful fishing and plastic waste.
Hogan, who’s been finding out the biodiversity within the Mekong for greater than 20 years, stated the declining inhabitants of some freshwater fish within the river was very worrying.
“Traditionally, this part of river produced 200 billion younger fish that then in the course of the floods season disperse all through all of Cambodia and even into Vietnam,” Hogan stated.