Critically Endangered Giant Fish on Menu at Luxury Restaurants in Vietnam
Hogan is a scientist, not a wildlife trade investigator, but in January 2018 he and National Geographic set out to search for answers to basic questions about the trade: Why are these fish now appearing in restaurants in Vietnam? Where are they coming from? Finding that out is a crucial piece of the puzzle for stopping the trade.
Monsters have long lived in the Mekong, one of the world’s most biodiverse rivers. Starting in the Tibetan Plateau and meandering through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, its 2,600-mile-long, latte-brown vein conceals a fantastical array of nearly a thousand fishes, many found nowhere else. Thanks to the river’s enormity and productivity, about a dozen of them grow to record proportions.
“These are some of the largest, most extraordinary, and iconic fish in the world,” Hogan said. “They’re big enough to strike even the most experienced fishermen with awe.”