Big fish to fry: Endangered Mekong giant barb ends up in Saigon restaurant

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An extremely rare giant barb weighing 135 kilograms have been transported from Cambodia and sold to a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, local media reported. 

The fish, which is 1.8 meters long and has a circumference of 1.7 meters, was caught by a Cambodian fisherman. 

Traders in An Giang Province learnt about the news, traveled to Cambodia to buy the fish and brought it to Vietnam on Thursday.
A representative of the restaurant refused to reveal the transaction value.
However, each kilogram of a giant barb could be sold at up to VND4 million (around US$200), according to some sources.
That means the price of this newly-caught fish could be in a range of thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. 
Giant barb, native in the Mekong River Basin, has become severely threatened in recent years due to pollution and fishing pressure. 
According to National Geographic, a giant barb may reach 300 kg but those exceeding 100 kg (220 pounds) have become "exceptionally rare". 
The species is in fact protected in all the Mekong states as it is classified "Critically Endangered" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Trading and eating of giant barb is still going on in Vietnam, where restaurants often fight against one another to buy the rare fish and serve it as a delicacy.  
Earlier in January, a Dong Thap fisherman caught a 110-kilogram giant barb on the Hau River. Another giant barb, weighing 130 kg, was caught in Vinh Long Province in December. 
 

A 135-kilogram giant barb was transported and sold to a Ho Chi Minh City restaurant on Thursday. Photos: CTV

 

 

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