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600 lb. Goldfish Facts

Zeb Hogan holds a giant carp at Khon Kaen Inland Fisheries Research and Development Center while helping its staff transfer about 20 parent giant carp to a new sterilized pond.

Zeb Hogan holds a giant carp at Khon Kaen Inland Fisheries Research and Development Center while helping its staff transfer about 20 parent giant carp to a new sterilized pond. (View larger version)

Photograph by Singha Quansuwan

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  • Giant carp can grow up to 660 lbs and 10 feet long.

  • Giant carp live in only three Southeast Asia’s rivers, the Chao Phraya River, the Maeklong River and the Mekong River.

  • A giant carp is Cambodia’s national fish. A bas-relief of giant carp and fishermen can be found at the Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the world’s largest religious structure.

  • With a length of approximately 2,700 miles, the Mekong River is the longest river in Southeast Asia, the seventh longest in Asia and the twelfth longest in the world.

  • The Mekong River, the longest river in Southeast Asia, is home to as many as 1,700 fish species, including four giant fish species, more than any other rivers on earth.

  • The Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia is the largest lake in Southeast Asia. During the rainy season, the lake swells to cover more than five percent of the country.

  • In the rainy season, the Tonle Sap Lake increases four times in size, to approximately the same size as Los Angeles County.

  • About 80,000 people with mixed ethnic groups live in more than 200 floating and stilted villages on the Tonle Sap Lake.

  • “Dai” is a Vietnamese term. It means a bag. The dai fisheries or bagnet fisheries were introduced to Cambodia by Vietnamese people over a century ago.

  • In Cambodia, fish oil replaced engine oil to mainly serve the French military’s needs during World War I. The fish oil was produced from a big amount of small fish caught from dais.

  • As the Tonle Sap Lake drains into the Mekong River in the dry season, the fish also move out of the lake into the river. The migration peaks near the full moon in December and January.

  • The oldest koi carp lived up to 226 years.

  • Seventy five percent of the animal protein source for Cambodians comes from inland freshwater fish.

  • Wild giant carp caught in bagnets in the Tonle Sap River will be tagged and released back into the river, as part of the giant carp migration study conducted by the Cambodia’s Fisheries Administration.

  • 1Cambodians commonly used giant carp’s scales to make a type of shuttlecock. The shuttlecock is used in a Cambodian sport in which a group of people standing in a circle passes the shuttlecock from person to person by foot.

  • Each year fishermen are allowed to start operating bagnet fisheries or dais on the Tonle Sap River in early October.

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