The Khmer common name is “Trey Kahor or Trey Kbal Lan or Trey Koalreang”. The scientific name is “Catlocarpio siamensis” and English common name is “Giant Mekong Barb”. Giant Mekong Barb is largest freshwater fish of the Kingdom of Cambodia. It weighs 150-300 Kg, has body length of 2-3 m, has large scales covering the whole body, except the head and fins. The body has two different colors, scales above the lateral lines are clear grey, and under the lateral line are silver. This species is protected by Article 18, Chapter II, of Royal decree No 33 on Management of the Fisheries Sector. At present, the Department of Fisheries has encouraged hatcheries and breeding stations to conduct research and experimentation on breeding and incubation in order to stock the fish in natural water bodies and use for aquaculture. Since 2000, the Department of Fisheries has cooperated with the Project for the Management of the Freshwater Capture fisheries of Cambodia of the Mekong River Commission to tag and release into the wild barbs captured in bagnet fisheries in the Tonle Sap River, in order to study its migration and growth. The giant barb is a freshwater species endemic to the Cambodian Mekong River system. The fish is found in the Mekong River, especially in the Tonle Sap Lake. In ancient times the bard was carved on the wall of temples at Angkor. Its scales are popularly used for making a type of shuttlecock (used in a game in which a group stand in a circle and kick the shuttlecock from person to person) for a Khmer popular sport. Compared with other freshwater fish species, it is the largest, and is not aggressive. It is tasty and a popular Cambodian food. The reasons for encouraging hatcheries and breeding stations to carry out breeding and incubation experiments are to disseminate the findings to fish farmers because the fish feeds on natural foods, grows fast, and the brood stock can be maintained. At the same time, its important habitat is deep pools that has been established as protected areas along the Cambodian Mekong River to conserve this endangered species. It is a commercial fish species, and is an endangered species which the World Conservation Union and non-government organizations are interested in providing assistance to protect and conserve.
Source: Appendix 4 of the Royal Degree No. NS/RKT/0305/149 dated March 21, 2005 on the Designation of Animals and Plants as National Symbols of the Kingdom of Cambodia