30 Nov '16, 4pm

A dam shame: the plight of the Mekong giant catfish

Southeast Asia’s Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas) is the world’s largest freshwater fish, with the biggest among them weighing an astonishing 650 pounds (300 kilograms), and growing to a length of 10 feet (3 meters). Species numbers are thought to have crashed by 80 percent in recent decades, although there are no reliable population estimates for the fish. A sudden escalation in the construction of hydroelectric dams on the Mekong could seal the fate of the species. A host of dams, both under construction and planned, threaten to block the catfish’s natural migration patterns, potentially driving it to extinction. The Xayaburi dam, which is already being built, poses the most immediate threat. Radio telemetry and environmental DNA techniques are crucial to the study and monitoring of this elusive creature in the wild. Conservationists working at Cambodia’s propo...

Full article: https://news.mongabay.com/2016/11/a-dam-shame-the-plight-...

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Killing the Mekong, Dam by Dam

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