310 kg Freshwater Stingray caught in Mekong River
Fisherman hooks Laos’ largest ever stingray
By Panyasith Thammavongsa , Vientiane Times,
published on 05. October 2011
A whopping 310kg stingray caught last month in the Mekong River in southern Laos is believed to be the largest of its kind ever found in the country.
The giant stingray, which has a diameter of 190cm, is now the property of Mr Khamtai Phearsakha, who intends to preserve it for future generations to witness.
Mr Khamtai, who is the director of agriculture for an import and export company in Xaythany district, Vientiane, told Vientiane Times yesterday that the stingray was caught on September 28 by 22-year-old fisherman Mr Phet, who hails from Toum village of Donxay island in Soukhoumma district, Champassak province.
“The fisherman had to ask his friends to help him remove the stingray from the Mekong after struggling with it for three days,” he said.
“After my relative from Donxai island told me that the stingray was larger than anything seen b y local fishermen before, I immediately sent my staff to the village to buy the specimen,” Mr Khamtai added.
He said he paid around 8 million kip for the stingray, which was still alive at the time. Unfortunately, the stingray died while being transported through Pakxe district in Champassak before arriving in Vientiane on October 1.
He explained that the stingray died as a result of its arduous three-day battle with its captors.
“Following the stingray’s arrival in Vientiane, I went to ask the doctors at my district hospital for advice on how to best preserve it because I want as many people to see it as possible,” Mr Khamtai said.
“I’ve shown it to many people in both Champassak province and Vientiane, who’ve said they’ve never seen such a large stingray.”
Mr Khamtai explained that on doctor’s advice he purchased 200 litres of non-pyrogenic water and 80 bottles of formalin in order to preserve the stingray indefinitely.
“I welcome the public to come and see the stingray at my house in Nakoung village of Xaythany district, Vientiane,” he said, explaining that his residence is 18km from the Thangon area, after which motorists should take a left and travel another 1km towards Nakoung village.
Head of the Xaythany district Livestock and Fishery Unit Mr Thongteum Luangxay said “We are aware of fishermen regularly catching 30kg stingrays in the Nam Ngum River, but never of 310kg-plus stingrays from the Mekong.”
Mr Thongteum said he and his team will go and see the stingray soon.
Note: Please see the related video Large Stingray in Mekong River Laos (here).
Source and Photo Credit: Vientiane Times