The Monster Fish Project
Conservation of the World’s Largest Freshwater Fishes
The University of Nevada / National Geographic Society Megafishes Project represents the first worldwide attempt to document and protect the planet’s freshwater giants. This ambitious effort aims to gather scientific data on the Earth’s largest freshwater fish, laying the groundwork necessary to facilitate megafish conservation and raise public awareness about the ecological status of the world’s rivers.
Megafish population assessments make use of the best available data, including published literature, gray literature, communication with experts, interviews with local fishermen, and websites such as www.fishbase.org. For population trends, such data include direct observation, catch per unit effort, measures of exploitation levels, and indices of abundance appropriate to certain species (such as a decline in body size). For distribution trends, data include extent of occurrence (all known sites of present occurrence), extent of habitat, and number and locations of subpopulations.
For each species, information will also be collected on the actual or estimated past abundance and the most recent estimated abundance. The collection of reliable, baseline data is a necessary first step to implementing long-term conservation plans for threatened, large-bodied freshwater fish.