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Interview 32:36 - 41:26 Play 32:36 - More
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Zeb Hogan, Michael Sullivan  







Giant catfish discussions  

Interview 46:28 - 1:07:05 Play 46:28 - More
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Zeb Hogan, Michael Sullivan  







Giant catfish discussion. Includes comments by Poa.  

Sound Effects 1:44:39 - 1:51:53 Play 1:44:39 - More
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Motor boat engine sounds  








NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
15 Nov 2005

  • Cambodia
  • Tonle Sap river
  • 12.0529973   104.777298
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Equipment Note
  • 2X DPA omni mics

TUES Nov 15
Big catfish

On scooter with DPAs going to catfish

1300 getting off catfish going to boat to get across river

2217 getting on boat and going to DIY where the giant catfish is

2503 on boat going to catfish

2844 m -that's a big fish

2857 generator noise

2910 2B caught it but this is 2C they caught it 6am this morning

2948 m -when get here

Sami -5am

Getting closer to the fish ambi

3146 lots of talk in khmer

3248 zeb -yeah we got one it is great¿it is 7 feet long .. it prob weighs btwn 200 and 250 lbs. this is about the smallest. This is a small adult

M -a small adult 1 -3 yr

Z -10 yrs

M -how old do they get

Z -maybe 30 or 40 yrs old but no one really knows 3324

3324 z -we gave it antibiotics already it is actually really strong but the thing that worries me is if you see the fins the fins are all chewed up and even that could be enough to kill a fish thru infection so gave some antib and we will add some of that malachite green

M -and the fins are chewed up bc of the net?

Z -bc of the net. This is the first time that we have tried this fish tank but from past experience we know that fish we release die. And so this is a way we can hold for a while, see how strong it is, we put some salt in water give it some antib and hopefully that will increase its chances

M -how long keep in tank

Z -in a few hrs 3444

3448 m -you say he is strong and I see you pulling on its tail and getting to move around but other hand when you don't it kind of keels over on its side which is not a good sign

3457 z -well not a bad sign he doesn't have a lot of room to move around here though I think if we let him out he will swim but that is another thing we need to check the fact that he is s right now is not worrying but if I pulled him back and gave him room to swim and he didn't then that is worrying. Bc that means when we release him he won't swim he will sink and fish to get o2 in their gills they need to be swimming.

Z -we have to ask sami¿5 about 1 ½ ago¿this fish actually looks pretty good except for fin damage. I am not sure what we can do about it except for antib 3554

M -chances?

Z -bout 50 50 which is better than none -better than nothing

M -how many have you seen this year

Z -this is the second one in the diy¿third one we have seen bc we have seen one dead one up in campochang. This fish looks pretty good. You know there are always a million things going through my head. I hope it survives. It is bad for us if it dies. We are trying this new technique and if it dies while it is in this tank I am never going to hear end of it but we know from past experience that we need to try to do this so I am hoping that this fish will survive¿.w/out tank likely to die and also we know we see them when they die so we will hear about it a few days later. They will float up to the surface but once we release them in water we don't know what is happening -prob when we release most of these fish they float down to bottom of river and they 3719 and they sit here like this, still, and fish can not survive that way we are hoping that this fish will gather its strength back and when we release it it will be swimming . that is always the goal. When we release it is swimming not just sitting in water and this fish looks to me like it will be swimming when we release although we will want to release it fairly soon now that we -I am going to put some malachite green in water but I don't know this is our trial run for this tank -I don't think we should hold for a long time 3800 it is a little bit worrying that it cant seem to upright itself (over willy) 3812 it is what the fishermen say about catf as well when catch strong fighters bt what they do is flip it over when fish flipped over it loses fight. So for fish as whole doesn't look that bad but can get infected so this is pretty serious actually. What vets have told me when fish goes in net it struggle so much that it over exerts itself and sometimes a fish can not recover from that. For some reason a delayed process. Look good, then hr later ok, but day later there is a delayed response and the larger the less chance to survive. This fish is also a fairly small fish

M -you say fairly small fish we are talking about a fish

Z -over 200 lbs¿this is a small giant cat.

M -big fish to us. You gave us worst case scenario. Is this positive sign

3952 Z -I have mixed emotions. On one hand I am glad they caught another one bc for us we use catch as an indicator of abundance so fact caught another one means they are still out there. On the other hand it is a little sad to see a fish like this that might die but you know they catch these fish every year I feel happy that we have a chance at least to get it in water and that it might survive

M -you don't think last one you will see

Z -I think this will be the last one this year but I certainly can be wrong. We can get one tomorrow we can get one the next day. 4029 Typically what we see is that these nets catch fish either before or during the water festival and water fes starts today

M -you think last one this year but you don't think last one you will see

4048 z -I hope not. I will be out here every year and we go up to northern Thailand where they catch them sometimes so I don't think will be last one we will see but I worry about that

4102 z -it is doing ok the other thing to worry about is the cf has a slime, a mucous on their skin and when that rubs off that also opens up skin to infection and not sure much to do about that but this fish I don't see net burns on its side which is good

4126 ambi in area w/kids and generator

4225 boat goes by with music (one of the paddle boats)

4408 m -asking little boy name

boy -VEE CHEE AH 12 yrs old

have you seen one before

boy -4434 -he said he saw this fish a few times maybe 2 or 3 times

m -this big ?


M -what do you think

Boy -I think 4517

4554 kids and generator

4623 z -checking out status net marks and fins torn apart and that is serious damage don't know if fish can survive. Still looks good now but worried about secondary infection and when fish get exhausted they slowly deteriorate and die like a day later so I just really like to see fish swim strong when release best chance aside from getting antib and treating water but we got to this fish pretty quickly after caught so that's good 4732 and then I am also -if fish upright can breathe more easily also trying to keep away from sides of tank¿.still got some fight though (hard to hear) 4800

4800 kids playing around -nice scene

What r Biggest fish in the us

Z -lake sturgeon 300 lbs -alligator ??? this is a bout twice as big as a large fish in the us 4915 in the us they get almost as big and in china and in nile in amazon¿.mostly ;large fish in world in largest river in world you see large fish but not this big -I haven't seen all of those fish yet but in coming months hope to gather info on it as well. Good for me to see how other scientists work as well. The way the project is set up -work with scientists that are already experts on the fish

M - 5057 how did this work

5100 they aren't going to get a reward with this fish I think they have accepted that I think it doesn't hurt that I hired this fisherman's son to collect some info for me so he seemed happy about that. When he called this morning we asked him to release this fish immediately and we didn't want to come out we just wanted to het it back in the water and he said no he said he wanted us to come out and do what we need to do. I don't know if that is good for the fish but he was trying to accommodate on time he wanted us to see that he was cooperating and it gives us a chance to see about this technique of reviving the fish I don't think it is a bda thing but good thing in terms of his cooperation.

5225 lots of kids talking happy kids

5254 -it is definitely pulling in water thru mouth it is breathing (off mic a bit)

I don't know we have to lets give it another half hour and then release it¿the one that we released earlier sank like a sack of bricks that is what I am worried about. I don't know though some fish most fish if smaller fish you put iin here it would revive in an hr with o2. he is struggling for sure and it does make me a little bit sad¿¿.h

5432he is a big fish, he is injured we will see (plane in bg here for last)

Lots of kids in bg 5537 louder generator

5752 m -ideally you would want him to catch and release but realistically he wsa already damaged¿.he actually has a better chance now

5810 Z -that is my opinion after working here for 4 yrs we have seen fish that we have released immeduiately that still die so in my opinion the damage is down when in the net but not everyone feels that way. Some of the fishermen believe it is just better to release the fish immediately regardless of how injured it is. The dir of the dept of fisheries he knows that we are doing medicating fish and he also is requesting that we release the fish immediately. I personally after working out here for a long time and seeing the fish die even after it is release immediately feel like it is better to at least try asked several vets this is what they recommended but also it maybe too late but this affords the best chance of survival.

5924 m -but dr of fisheries -will ge get in trouble with director will he get spanked or will he be ok bc he is working with you

Z -yeah these nets aer special. This area catches most of the gcat this is a research area research conservation area

M -if fisherman

Z -and the fish died I will be one who takes the blame so fisherman will prob be ok but yes under normal circumstances if a fisherman not in this area caught one and it died he he could be in big trouble

M -that must suck

Z -in terms of gathering data yes it does suck but I really don't care abot that even this morning when the fisherman called us 10025 bc it sounded like he had just got it out of the net - I said just release it if it just caught and he can flip it out fish has good chance of survival so we said pls -we got here when he got out of net and now we can try and out this new fish tank so I think things worked out for best. in terms of data I am not that concerned with data 10105 if the fish survives regardless I just as pls release immediately pls.

10127 zeb with no sucks
What we would get form this fish it is unfortunate -if the fishermen release this fish immediately we cant gather certain types of data for instance with this fish we wouldjn't get a size we wouldn't get a DNA sample compared to imp of survival of fish those things not imp so better for fish to survive then for us to get one more DNA sample which we already have or one more fish length which is not that import when you compare to survival of fish 10212

Z -I think they are arguing if whether or not good idea 10230 if this fish croaks I won't hear the end of it but you know we have got to try so I don't understand exact what saying but I bet that is what it is

M and poua talking about what the fisherman are saying¿¿few of fishermen according to sami ¿

M -so fishermen on boat are saying dump back in river

Poua I think if fish is strong we should release right away ¿..just take icture for zeb but if fish in net for a long time not so good so strong then maybe we should try this way¿.it looks strong¿.maybe we can take it for experience and try and have ¿.

M -quest whether fishermen know more than scientistsday to day approach vs scientific approach.

Poa0 10632 according to them the fisherman they have advantage

10714 talking at place with generator 10750 fishermen talking with kids in bg (maybe talking about zeb but have no idea)

11033 louder generator ¿

11326 z asking fisherman if fish will survive should we release now?

Fisherman -I don't understand why you want to keep fish

Zeb asking around if someone can help get tank into river

11507 zeb talking with fisherman -he is worried. Still stron but if starts to get less stron I think maybe we should release it. I would rather it die in river than in tank. Now we are not sure about the tank¿..i don't want ot do observations on giant catfish we can do with smaller catfish¿.

11722 kids playing with generator in bg

11755 good kids playing with splashing in bg

Zeb talking off mic saying that people say that gcatfish die bc he wanted to video tape it. I am trying to do my best. 12907 this one has a good of chance as any of them do¿for some reason that kind of fin damage doesn't deal very well

13041 z -what I would like to do is take tank in middle of river -z talking about how he is going to figure out how to do it¿..(he really doesn't know what to do)

13148 z -I have to go assess the Cambodian feelings towards me


13620 putting fish in river -talk in khmer

14302 motor stops lots of talking in khmer and a little zeb 14319 very good spash when fish get in quite except for cameras -gone - 14349 ouch zeb gets pricked

14401 zeb goes down and all is quite talk in khmer -14416 -zeb -it is strong -wow that felt good maybe that one will survive.

Ms -he swam away he did not float away

Z -he swam straight down. vEry strong.

Motor starts up

14602 motor slows back to house

15103 back at house

15156 motor off back at house -getting off of boat

15356 another boat

15509 z -they are kinda ugly little more human like when more healhy -that fish was looking pretty good.

15747 z talking about giving them some money to get them some beer

Zeb talking with sami about what to do with tank now

20233 end of DAT

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