Endangered Mekong giant catfish caught, released in Cambodia

This video says about itself:

20 July 2009

Biologist Zeb Hogan travels the mighty Mekong River in search of the increasingly elusive Giant Catfish.

From TakePart.com:

A Monster Fish Makes a Rare Appearance in Cambodia

Fishers catch and release a critically endangered Mekong giant catfish

Nov 14, 2015

by Taylor Hill

Fishers near Phnom Penh, Cambodia, brought a monster to the surface this past week—catching and releasing a rarely seen Mekong giant catfish nearly seven feet long.

It was the first reported catch this year of the freshwater monster, known as the “royal fish” because of its size.

“This is really extraordinary,” Zeb Hogan, a University of Nevada, Reno, biologist who has studied the species for almost 20 years, said in a statement. “It confirms that this incredibly rare and critically endangered freshwater species still occurs in Cambodia and it is still making its annual spawning migration out of the Tonle Sap Lake and into the Mekong River.”

Hogan was on-site when the catch was made. “At just under seven feet in length, the catfish was larger than any catfish that has been caught in the U.S. in the last 100 years,” he said. “What was really incredible is that I happened to be visiting at the time of the catch. It’s a one-in-a-million opportunity.”

Hogan and a team of officials from the Cambodian Department of Fisheries tagged the fish to track its movement and then guided it to the middle of the river for release.

RELATED: This Dam Battery Will Power Southeast Asia but at What Cost?

Hogan said he swam down with the fish some 10 feet deep, monitoring its condition along the way.

“Swimming with the fish was incredible as always,” said Hogan, who has swum with dozens of huge fish as part of his research. “This particular fish was in better shape, not as injured than most, so that makes me optimistic it will survive.”

Mekong catfish were once caught by the thousands in the lower Mekong, but scientists estimate the total population of the species has decreased by around 90 percent in the last decade and could be down to a few 100 individuals.

“The survival of every fish makes a difference; survival of migrating adults is especially important,” Hogan said. “With ongoing changes happening on the Mekong River that may cause the extinction of the giant catfish, measures to study and protect these fish are more important than ever.”

Australian speartooth sharks, new research

This video says about itself:

Rare Speartooth Shark (Glyphis glyphis): Freshwater Sharks

24 April 2010

Few people are aware that Australia has several species of sharks that will live in freshwater and this is one of them! The Speartooth Shark (Glyphis glyphis) is abundant in only localised and isolated regions and is subsequently considered Critically Endangered. The sharks in this clip were collected by the team at Cairns Marine, under special permit, for a strategic breeding program at the Melbourne Aquarium. As the only representatives of their species in captivity anywhere in the world, this is a vital step towards their long term species conservation.

From Mongabay.com:

Adult speartooth sharks caught and tagged by scientists for first time ever

12th November 2015 / Mike Gaworecki

Only juvenile specimens of the elusive, endangered shark species have been previously observed by scientists.

  • The two adult specimens caught by CSIRO researchers at the mouth of the Wenlock River in Queensland, Australia were a male that measured 2.3 meters in length and a female that was 2.2 meters.
  • Until now, no one even knew how big a fully mature speartooth shark could get.
  • Each of the sharks was fitted with satellite tags that will collect data on the sharks’ movements, as well as the depth, salinity and temperature of the waters the sharks frequent.

Scientists with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, have caught and tagged two adult speartooth sharks (Glyphis glyphis) in a remote corner of Australia — the first time live adults of the species have ever been observed by scientists, let alone studied.

The elusive shark species, which is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), was first discovered in Australia in the Bizant River, on Cape York’s eastern side, in 1982. Only juvenile specimens have been previously observed. Until now, no one even knew how big a fully mature speartooth shark could get.

CSIRO has been researching juvenile speartooth sharks in the Wenlock River since 2006 and discovered that they are restricted to a few river systems in the Australia’s Northern Territory and Queensland states.

The two adult specimens caught by the CSIRO researchers at the mouth of the Wenlock River in Queensland were a male that measured 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) in length and a female that was 2.2 meters (7.2 feet). Each of the sharks was fitted with two satellite tags that will detach (one after 60 days, the other after 120 days), float to the surface and upload the data they’ve collected on the sharks’ movements, as well as the depth, salinity and temperature of the waters the sharks frequent.

While juvenile speartooth sharks spend the first three to six years of their life in the low-salinity river waters 40 to 80 kilometers (about 25 to 50 miles) upstream from the sea, scientists had thought that adult speartooth sharks spend most of their time in marine environments, only returning to rivers to give birth.

But the truth is that “We currently have no idea where the adults occur, all we know is that they are found in marine environments somewhere off the northern Australian coast,” CSIRO researcher Dr. Richard Pillans, who tagged the sharks together with colleagues from CSIRO and the Australia Zoo, said in a statement.

This general lack of knowledge makes conservation efforts difficult. The IUCN estimates that there are, at most, just 2500 speartooth sharks left in the world. They’ve been found in tropical river systems in Australia and Papua New Guinea, but very little else is known about where they live out their lives as adults and, therefore, what threats they are facing.

The presence of a male at the mouth of the river could possibly indicate that speartooth sharks also mate in riverine environments, for instance — a vital piece of information for conservationists to have.

“It is hoped that the information obtained from these tags will provide the first data on where adult speartooth sharks live,” Pillans added, “with this data critical to obtaining a better understanding of threats to this endangered species.”

Sharks to become smaller and poorer hunters by century’s end, climate change study suggests: here.

Great cormorant catches great fish, video

This video from the Netherlands is about a great cormorant which has caught a big fish; while a grey heron watches.

Tench swimming, video

This video is about a tench swimming in a canal in Leiden city in the Netherlands.

Aaf Verkade made this video.

Small-spotted catshark swimming, video

This video shows a small-spotted catshark swimming in the Oosterschelde estuary in Zeeland province in the Netherlands.

Diver Robert Hughan made this video.

Rare black seabream in Wadden Sea

This video from Spain is about egg laying by Spondyliosoma cantharus, black seabream.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

25 October 2015

On Wednesday, September 23 Gerrit de Vries of the shrimper UQ21 caught on the Wadden Sea a small remarkable fish. Because he long ago already had caught two individuals he knew it was a black seabream. Catching a black seabream happens only very occasionally in the Wadden Sea.


The black seabream of de Vries was about 10 cm long. So it’s a youngster, because adult specimens can grow to 60 cm long. Black seabream like to be in seagrass beds or over rocky bottoms. They eat all kinds of things, from seaweed to shrimp and crabs. They are warm-water fish: in water that is colder than 7 degrees you will not see them.

Good sea-trout news from the Netherlands

This spring, young sea-trout were freed in streams in Drenthe province in the Netherlands. This species used to live there, but had become extinct.

As the video shows, on 20 October 2015 the young trout were caught, measured and freed again, to find out how well they are doing. It turned out they were growing up well.

If all will go well, then they will migrate to the Lauwersmeer, and then to the sea.