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Giant Mekong catfish in danger of extinction

VIETNAM - The world's largest inland catfish which resides in the Mekong Basin region and is scientifically named Pangasinodon gigas, is in danger of extinction, warned the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

Giant Mekong catfish in danger of extinction - VIETNAM - The world's largest inland catfish which resides in the Mekong Basin region and is scientifically named Pangasinodon gigas, is in danger of extinction, warned the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

According to biological experts, the number of Giant Mekong catfish is on the decline due to several reasons, including the rapid environmental change in the Mekong Basin area.

The giant catfish, which grows to 3ms in length and 250kg in weight, is a symbol of the biological integrity of the Mekong river and is one of four main species which receive the special care from the Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Programme (MWBP).

The catfish is found in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand and this factor brings about an opportunity for regional cross-border cooperation in aquaculture management.

The IUCN is curently coordinating with the MWBP, which includes four countries in the Mekong Basin region - Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam - to determine the exact situation of this rare species. To perverse the fish, the MWBP has worked with the four Mekong Basin nations to reduce Pangasinodon gigas fishing on the Mekong River.

In another attempt to preserve the species, the IUCN has focused on collecting data from relevant Ministries of Fisheries in order to develop an action plan for the task and create favorable conditions for Pangasinodon gigas fishing and stock the Mekong River with the fish.

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