The large and endangered freshwater rays suffered from a mysterious die-off.
The freshwater stingray could possibly the largest freshwater fish. The fish is also endangered, so when 70 of them mysteriously died, it raised concerns. Some of the stingrays are about as large as cars and have been found in Thailand Mae Klong River.
Given there are so few of the rays, their populations and biology are being tracked and researched by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Currently, they are studying the dead rays to determine what has caused the deaths. Early reports indicate that the river is slightly more acidic than usual.
Thai environmentalists suspect a recent spill from an ethanol plant as the cause of the die-off. Interestingly, others believe the fish have been poisoned with cyanide intended to kill other fish.
The rays are not normally targeted for fishing, except by those intending to study them, as they are not considered good to eat. This is a disappointment, as these fish would be a great fight! They are so strong they are known to break fishing gear.
Here’s a video of the one that might be the world’s largest:
Adding to the fun, a ray can reach up to 14 feet in length and almost 8 feet wide. While not normally fished, they are occasionally killed by an accident.
It is possible to book trips to fish for rays in Thailand. Hopefully, most of the money goes to helping the species recover.