RENO, Nev. University of Nevada, Reno researchers Zeb Hogan and Sudeep Chandra know Megafishes mega-well.
Hogan, an assistant research professor, and Chandra, an assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, are part of an ongoing effort to save the worlds largest fishes. The National Geographic-sponsored Megafishes Project is prominently featured in this weeks issue of Science magazine. Hogan and Chandras three-year project is to document and protect what Science refers to as the titans of the worlds rivers and lakes: two-dozen-odd freshwater fishes that can top 200 pounds or 6 feet long. Many of these sumo-sized species are on the ropes, pummeled by overfishing and habitat degradation.
The researchers work on the Mekong Delta in Thailand is considered critical to the understanding and preservation of these fish. The Mekong Rivers 1,200-plus fish species make it the worlds most biologically diverse basin of this size. Everywhere we look, the largest fish are disappearing, Hogan says, adding that the work with the worlds largest fish can only help benefit numerous other species on the planet that are facing a global freshwater extinction crisis.