November 16, 2023
During the award presentation, the global authority on all things record-breaking, presented two certificates—one for the world’s largest freshwater stingray and another for the world’s largest female freshwater stingray.
“We congratulate Cambodia on setting a new record. The gigantic freshwater stingray measured nearly 5m in length and over 2m in width, weighing over 300 kg. Therefore, our institution recognises this as the largest of its species,” he added.
Secretary of state for the ministry Has Sareth shared that accidental catches by fishermen in Koh Preah commune, Stung Treng province, in 2022, weighing 143kg, 180kg and 300kg, secured the largest of these colossal stingrays a spot in the Guinness World Records.
“Researchers named this gigantic freshwater stingray Boramey (Day of the full moon) because the fish was released back into the Mekong River on the day of the full moon. The research indicates that the fish was in a deep pool area when the fishermen made the catch,” he added.
“I have instructed the Wonders of the Mekong project to maintain even closer cooperation with the Fisheries Administration (FiA) and sub-national administrations to care for, protect and conserve these fish in the Mekong. The river serves as a source of fish for distribution to the Tonle Sap, the lower Mekong, and flooded areas where local people conduct their business,” he stated.
He continued that there might be more gigantic freshwater stingrays beyond the initial three. The FiA and the Wonders of the Mekong project are conducting additional research.
US ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy was also present at the ceremony. He stated that it was commendable for Cambodia to secure a place in the Guinness Book of Records. This signifies a pivotal moment in highlighting Cambodia’s conservation efforts in the Mekong River.
“This event underscores the significance of discovering vital biodiversity in the Mekong region, which supports and feeds over 60 million people,” Murphy added.
Following the ceremony, the FiA and the Wonders of the Mekong project conducted an international conference on the current status of gigantic freshwater stingrays in the Mekong.
Zeb Hogan, director of the Wonders of the Mekong project, stated at the workshop that its purpose was to provide insights into the numbers and biological features of gigantic freshwater stingrays in the Mekong and other rivers in Southeast Asia.
“We will further collaborate with the FiA and sub-national administrations to care for, protect and conserve these remarkable fish in the upper Mekong, serving as a source for the lower part of the river and flooded areas,” he added.
In 2020, the FiA and the Wonders of the Mekong project reintroduced more than 16,000 endangered fish, including Mekong giant barbs, Mekong giant catfish, isok barb fish, iridescent shark catfish and the three gigantic freshwater stingrays, to their native habitats.