Critically Endangered Giant Fish on Menu at Luxury Restaurants

Vietnamese restaurateurs are illegally sourcing rare Mekong River megafish from Cambodian fishermen.

Phoen Sok Phoen, a fisherman who caught 250-plus-pound giant barb in his net on two separate occasions last year but called the fisheries officials to released the fish, drives his boat back home through Kompong Loung floating viallage on Tonlé Sap Lake, Cambodia. It was the first time in 10 years of fishing the Tonle Sap Lake that he’d caught one giant barb, let alone two. “I was very surprised and very afraid, because giant barb is like a god or spirit,” he says. “I prayed to it, ‘Please don’t harm me!’”
Photograph by Linh Pham, National Geographic

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