Damn that's tasty!

Hey! Wanna see a catfish the size of a bear? Go here, it'll rock your world.


Maggie said...

My God -- that really did rock my world.

Remember when I was asking everyone how many noodles they could eat? My friend said 200 and I said 5,000.

Now I'm going to start asking everyone how many pounds of catfish they think they could eat. I think I could do five pounds easy, seven if I was really working at it.

Anonymous said...

What a small world we live in!

Charismatic Catfish Can be Flagship for Conservation

By Charles McDermid
The Cambodia Daily
With a small shrug and a slow smile, catfish farmer
Ing Vannath watched on Wednesday morning as seven
years and more than 200 kg of pure good fortune
slipped into the murky waters of the Tonle Sap and
disappeared forever.
In 1998 Ing Vannath had no idea what was living in
his pond. The 36-year-old had simply ordered a batch
of fingerling catfish to raise on his property 7 km
north of Phnom Penh. A year later he noticed that a
handful of the whiskered fish had grown remarkably
On the advice of friends, he let the mightiest ones
remain in the pond to bring good luck.
Evidently it worked.
On Wednesday, at a lavish, riverside ceremony
organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the
Ministry of Agriculture, dozens of environmentalists,
government officials, and excited biologists applauded
Ing Vannath's work in raising four critically
endangered Mekong giant catfish-the largest freshwater
fish in the world.
The catfish, each weighing around 50 kg and measuring
roughly 1.5 meters in length, were released into the
river in a move that Dr Claude Martin, WWF
director-general, called a significant contribution to
the continued survival of the species.
The Mekong giant catfish, which can grow to more than
3 meters in length and can weigh over 300 kg, was
first listed as an endangered species in 1975.
It has been on the World Conservation Union's Red
List of Threatened Species since 1996. It's decline,
due to over-fishing, development and drought, has been
used by scientists as an indicator of the overall
health of the entire Mekong river ecosystem.
"The disappearance of the Mekong giant catfish may
foreshadow the slow decline of environmental
conditions throughout the Mekong river," Dr Zeb Hogan,
a research biologist at the University of Wisconsin in
the US and the coordinator of the Mekong Wetlands
Biodiversity Program, wrote in an email Wednesday.
Though fishing for Mekong catfish was ruled illegal
in 1921, Cambodian fisheries scientist Touch Seang
Tana estimates that less than 2 percent of the native
population remains.
Data collected by Hogan in 2003 suggests that 90
percent of the population has vanished over the last
two decades.
"If you consider that only five to 15 similarly sized
fish are caught in Cambodia each year, this is a very
important release," said Rob Shore, a WWF program
"We don't believe there are many fish like this in
captivity. Because they were caught in the river, they
are essentially wild fish. Now they're returning to
their rightful home," he said.
The event followed a Tuesday meeting between Martin
and Prime Minister Hun Sen in which the two discussed
threats to Cambodia's biodiversity-among them was the
dwindling population of Mekong catfish.
"Cambodia still has a lot of natural resources to
preserve. Chances are good in terms of conserving
biodiversity if things are done right," said Martin,
who was on his first official visit to Cambodia as
head of the WWF.
It is the hope of the WWF that charismatic,
"flagship" species such as the Mekong giant catfish
can raise public awareness about dangers to the
environment as a whole. After all, the Mekong catfish
is a near-mythical creature throughout Southeast Asia,
where some believe it has been an element of cultural
heritage for centuries.
"Huge fish are depicted in cave paintings in
northeast Thailand that are 4,000 years old and on the
bas reliefs of Angkor Wat," wrote Hogan who has
studied the fish since 1996.
In Cambodia, where the Mekong catfish is revered as
"trey reach" or "royal fish," it is one of the seven
natural treasures, alongside such national symbols as
the kouprey, a rare wild ox, and the giant turtle.
With its mammoth size, smooth shark-like skin and
gaping, toothless mouth, the mighty Mekong catfish is,
iconically-speaking, to the river what the elephant is
to land.
"The most obvious attraction people have to the
Mekong catfish is the enormous size," Shore said.
"The only other fish of this size is in the Amazon.
So to have a fish this size swimming through a capital
city is just amazing. The other thing is the potential
migration route it has. Some people believe that it
travels from the Tonle Sap all the way to northern
Thailand. This would take an enormous effort."
Though Shore initially expressed concern about the
transfer of the fish from Ing Vannath's farm to
Wednesday's ceremony, he said the fish appeared to
have weathered the move nicely.
Ing Vannath, who contacted the WWF to generously
donate the rare fish, was content as well.
He said that in the years that the catfish resided in
his pond, his business became quite successful and his
family was very happy.
"I am pleased to release the fish," he said.
"I am glad because now they will grow well and live in
a big place. They are at home."

Eileen said...

I bet they taste good, too!

Trevor Record said...

Wait, is it dead? I feel sort of sorry for it if it is.

Eileen said...

Omar: Is that our very own Charles from The Union? What's he doing in Cambodia, hiding from the law?

Trevor: I'm afraid they ate the fish. They tried to keep it alive what when it died, well, what else are you gonna do?

Anonymous said...

That is indeed Charles from The Union. He's not hiding from the law; he's circumnavigating the globe. I think that's a word.