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Brief Summary

Comprehensive Description

    Biology
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    Found in large rivers and seasonally in canals and floodplains (Ref. 12693). Adults prefer big pools in the Mekong at least part of the year while juveniles are mostly seen in swamps and small tributaries, from where they are sometimes collected and stocked in ponds (Ref. 37770). The young can acclimatize to live in ponds, canals and swamps. A migratory species (Ref. 37772). Enters flooded forest (Ref. 9497). Young individuals occur in October in the lower Mekong basin (Ref. 12975). Feeds on algae, phytoplankton and fruits of inundated terrestrial plants (Ref. 12693) and detritus (Ref. 58784). Its numbers have declined seriously. Individual fishes rarely survive to reach reproductive maturity. Its catch should be strictly regulated by size. A very desirable food fish, sometimes eaten fresh or pickled (Ref. 12693). Maximum length of 300 cm needs confirmation. Threatened due to over harvesting and habitat loss (Ref. 58490).
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    Giant barb
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    The giant barb or Siamese giant carp, Catlocarpio siamensis (Thai: กระโห้, RTGS: kraho, Thai pronunciation: [krā.hôː], or กะมัน, RTGS: kaman, Thai pronunciation: [kā.mān]; Khmer: ត្រីគល់រាំង, trei kól reăng; Vietnamese: cá Hô), is the largest species of cyprinid in the world. These migratory fish are found only in the Mae Klong, Mekong, and Chao Phraya River basins in Indochina. It has declined drastically due to habitat loss and overfishing, and it is now considered critically endangered.[1]

    Distribution and habitat

    Giant barbs are usually seen in large pools along the edges of large rivers, but seasonally enter smaller canals, floodplains, and flooded forests. Young barbs are usually found in smaller tributaries and swamps, but can acclimate to living in ponds, canals, and swamps.[2] The fish generally live in pairs.[3]

    These are migratory fish, swimming to favorable areas for feeding and breeding in different parts of the year.[2] These slow-moving fish subsist on algae, phytoplankton, and fruits of inundated terrestrial plants, rarely (if ever) feeding on active animals. In the lower Mekong basin, young giant barbs have been reported as occurring primarily in October.[2]

    Physical characteristics

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    Barb captured in a fishing boat

    The head is rather large for the body, with no barbels.[2]

    The giant barb ranks among the largest freshwater fish in the world, and is probably the largest fish in the family Cyprinidae.[4] It may reach 3 m (9.8 ft) (although this claimed maximum length needs confirmation) and weigh up to 300 kg (660 lb).[2] Among the cyprinids, only the golden mahseer can reach a comparable length, but it is a relatively slender fish that weighs far less.[5] Few large giant barbs are caught today. For example, no individual weighing more than 150 kg (330 lb) has been caught in Cambodia since 1994.[1] Today, the maximum length is about 1.8 m (6 ft).[citation needed]

    This fish is a tetraploid, meaning it has four of each chromosome (as opposed to diploid, the normal number in animals).[4]

    Conservation status

    Today, few barbs live to maturity. The main threats are from habitat loss (e.g., pollution and dams) and overfishing.[1] The sharp population decline is well illustrated by catch data from Cambodia, where 200 tonnes of giant barbs were caught in 1964. By 1980, only about 50 fish were caught, and by 2000, only 10.[1] It was formerly an important fish in local catches below the Khone Phapheng Falls, but surveys between 1993 and 1999 only located a single small individual.[1] Consequently, the giant barb is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.[1] It has been entirely extirpated from the Chao Phraya River.[1]

    In a 2005 royal decree, the Kingdom of Cambodia designated this fauna as the national fish to bring conservation awareness to this species.[6]

    In 2005, the giant barb was successfully domesticated and reproduced for the first time at the Vietnam National Breeding Center for Southern Freshwater Aquaculture.[7]

    In 2012, it was successfully reproduced in the Breeding Center of An Giang Province of Vietnam.

    In 2010, the Vietnam National Breeding Center released 50,000 young giant barbs into the Tien River in Dong Thap province Vietnam, but a survey showed that only few of them survived long enough to reach a weight of over one kilogram.

    At Mae Klong River in the area of Samut Songkhram Province, central Thailand. There are a lot of big giant barbs living there, and Chinese New Year every year. They will float up to eat Khanom chin noodles feed to them by people.[8]

    Cultivation

    In recent years, raising giant barb has become common in Vietnam due to its high economic value. Two breeding centers in southern Vietnam offer about 1 million breeder giant barbs to farmers per year. When kept in floating cages in rivers, the fish grow fast and gain 7 kg to 9 kg per year. In ponds where the main diet is natural algae, the fish gain 2 to 5 kg per year. Usually, giant barbs are harvested after 3 years of cultivation when they weigh 6 to 10 kg, but some farmers keep raising their fish in ponds for more than 7 years for them to reach 50 kg before harvesting.

    References

    1. ^ a b c d e f g h Hogan, Z. (2011). "Catlocarpio siamensis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2011: e.T180662A7649359. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T180662A7649359.en. Retrieved 26 December 2017..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    2. ^ a b c d e Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2011). "Catlocarpio siamensis" in FishBase. August 2011 version.
    3. ^ Southeast Asia Rivers Network. "The Return of Fish, River Ecology and Local Livelihoods of the Mun River : A Thai Baan (Villagers') Research" n.p. November 2004. p. 59
    4. ^ a b Nelson, Joseph S. (2006). Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-25031-7
    5. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Tor putitora" in FishBase. January 2012 version.
    6. ^ ROYAL DECREE on Designation of Animals and Plants as National Symbols of the Kingdom of Cambodia
    7. ^ tuoitrenews (2014-11-29). "Cultivating giant carps creates giant profits in Vietnam". Vietnam Breaking News. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
    8. ^ "ตามรอยกระโห้ยักษ์ l เรื่องจริงผ่านจอ". เรื่องจริงผ่านจอ (in Thai). 2017-05-03. Retrieved 2017-10-26.

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Morphology

    Morphology
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    Dorsal spines (total): 0
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Diagnostic Description

    Diagnostic Description
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    Head very large, about 2.5 times in SL; no barbels; no dorsal spine; 90-110 long gill rakers on first gill arch (Ref. 43281).
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Migration

    Migration
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    Potamodromous. Migrating within streams, migratory in rivers, e.g. Saliminus, Moxostoma, Labeo. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Threats

    Threats
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    Critically Endangered (CR) (A2abcd)
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Benefits

    Importance
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    fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial
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