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Dam Threatens The Giant Mekong Catfish

Dam Threatens The Giant Mekong Catfish

5th August 2010
The Giant Mekong Catfish

The Giant Mekong
Catfish


Two of the world's largest freshwater fish species could be at threat from extinction if a dam is built in the lower parts of the Mekong River (the 12th longest river in the world), a recent WWF reports claims. The river is home to the Giant Mekong Catfish, a fish that can reach half the length of a bus.

The Mekong River runs from the hills in Tibet through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and is home to hundreds of unique species including the famous Giant Mekong Catfish, which is the world's largest freshwater fish, growing up to 3 meters long and weighing an impressive 300kg.


Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia

Tonle Sap Lake,
Cambodia


The Giant Mekong Catfish is a migratory species of fish, travelling hundreds of miles along the river to reach their spawning grounds. The Giant Mekong Catfish spawns in the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia when the water is high during the monsoon.

The Tonle Sap Lake, is a natural phenomenon in itself, filling to the brim with water during the rainy season and draining when it stops. There are thousands of animal species here, and like many others, the Giant Mekong Catfish leaves the lake, heading upstream when the monsoon ends.


Hydropower Dam In Thailand

Hydropower Dam
In Thailand

The Giant Mekong Catfish then begins its long journey north to feed before returning to the Tonle Sap with the next annual rain. However, if the construction of a large dam goes ahead in northern Laos, the enormous size of these incredible creatures means that they would not be able to carry on their journey which could end in the ultimate demise of this impressive species.

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