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Cambodia discovers long lost eel species

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Lost no more – the Tonle eel. AKP

Cambodia has discovered and recorded a species of long lost eels since 2007 in a river of Prey Veng province.

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The endangered species was spotted by a group of researchers at the Fisheries Administration led by Mr Thach Phanara, Head of the Laboratory Division at the Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute and a Mekong Conservation Hero, according to the administration’s recent update.

This type of eel, continued the source, is commonly called swamp eel or Tonle eel by the locals and is scientifically named Ophisternon bengalense, formerly known as Ophisternon albus, and belongs to the family Synbranchidae.

Mr. Thach Phanara explained that the eel has a medium size with the length up to 50 centimetres, and is different from the general eel in Cambodia, in terms of head, tail, eyes and body.

It is commonly found in the Mekong basin in southern Cambodia and Vietnam as well as in Western Indo Pacific, he added.

The taste of the eel is not popular among Cambodians, but it is well liked among Vietnamese people. Phen Rattanak – AKP

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