Purrr-mission granted: Thailand’s Kaeng Krachan Dam hosts sanctioned fishing season for giant Mekong catfish

Photo: Phetchaburi News Facebook Page

A sanctioned fishing season is underway at the Kaeng Krachan Dam in Phetchaburi, Thailand, where the Fisheries Department’s inland fisheries prevention and suppression unit is permitting the capture of up to 60 giant Mekong catfish. The season commenced on November 9 and will run through January 9, providing the total catch does not exceed the 60 fish limit before the closing date.

For those keen to participate, a registration fee of 1,000 baht is required, along with the use of a fishing net with a mesh size of no less than 50 centimetres. Additionally, a fee of 1,000 baht is charged for every giant Mekong catfish caught, the department revealed.

“The funds raised will be used to procure 100 Mekong giant catfish hatchlings, which will then be reintroduced to the reservoir, promoting sustainability.”

The Mekong giant catfish, a critically endangered species, is protected under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. As such, the fishing season is meticulously planned and executed each year to limit the impact on the species.

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According to reports, fishermen in Ban Phukhem village, Kaeng Krachan district, are supportive of the regulations and eager to sell their catch. Buyers are also readily available at the site, willing to pay as much as 250 baht per kilogramme for the Mekong catfish, reported Bangkok Post.

Since the commencement of the fishing season, a total of 20 giant Mekong catfish have been caught. The heaviest thus far tipped the scales at 202 kilogrammes, whilst the smallest weighed in at 98 kilogrammes.

In other news, a gaur, an endangered wild animal, has been spotted for the first time in 37 years at the Salwin Wildlife Sanctuary in Mae Hong Son, a northern province on the Thai-Myanmar border. The confirmation of this sighting by Arkhom Boonnontae, the sanctuary’s chief, highlights the exceptional nature of such occurrences in northern Thailand. Read more HERE.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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