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Vietnam restaurant purchases 230kg critically-endangered Mekong giant catfish

Wednesday, November 05, 2014, 10:15 GMT+7
Vietnam restaurant purchases 230kg critically-endangered Mekong giant catfish
Restaurant employees carry the 230kg Mekong giant catfish in Ho Chi Minh City November 3, 2014.

A restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7 purchased a 230kg Mekong giant catfish from a trader in neighboring Cambodia on Monday.

The giant catfish, caught by Cambodian fishermen in Tonlé Sap Lake, was estimated to cost VND350 million (US$16,466), or VND1.5 million ($70.5) per kg.

The huge fresh-water species was slaughtered and frozen at the restaurant. The restaurant’s manager said that it is the largest fish they have ever bought. 

In the past fishermen in Vietnam have caught several Mekong giant catfish, but they only weighed approximately 100kg each.

The Mekong giant catfish, which is native to the Mekong basin in Southeast Asia and adjacent China, grows extremely quickly and can reach up to 300kg in weight and 3m in length.

Both the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List and Vietnam’s Red Book label the Mekong giant catfish as critically endangered. It is believed to live only in small, isolated populations in the central Mekong region.

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