PHETCHABURI: The Fishery Department's inland fisheries prevention and suppression unit is allowing people to catch up to 60 giant Mekong catfish in the Kaeng Krachan Dam during the current fishing season.
The season started on Nov 9 and will end on Jan 9. Those who want to fish must use a fishing net with at least 50 centimetres in mesh size and pay a 1,000-baht registration fee. In addition, they must pay 1,000 baht per giant catfish caught.
The money will be spent on 100 Mekong giant catfish hatchlings to be released back to the reservoir for sustainability, says the department.
The Mekong giant catfish is listed as a critically endangered species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
The the fishing season is organised during this time every year. If a total of 60 Mekong giant catfish are caught before Jan 9, the fishing season will end, said a source.
Most fishermen in Ban Phukhem village in Kaeng Krachan district are said to be happy to comply with the regulations to catch the giant catfish for sale. Buyers are also ready at the site. Each giant catfish can be sold at 250 baht per kilogramme.
Since Nov 9, a total of 20 giant catfish have been caught. The biggest one weighs 202kg and the smallest, 98kg.