Changing Planet

One Big Fish Is Making News, but There Are Many More Out There

Fisherman wowing listeners with tall tales of behemoth catches is a story as old as time. Now, with the help of the Internet, some storytellers can prove it.

And, that’s exactly what Dino Ferrari did after he recently reeled in a 280-pound catfish in Italy’s Po River. Ferrari says he wrestled with the catfish for more than a half hour before he successfully met the beast. He took photos and video with his colossal catch before ultimately releasing the creature back into the river.

The photos and footage are amazing for anglers and web-surfers alike. It’s not everyday you encounter a monster fish … unless you’re Zeb Hogan.

Zeb Hogan with his own goonch catfish. Photo credit Rob Taylor
Zeb Hogan with his own goonch catfish. (Photo by Rob Taylor)

Hogan, a National Geographic explorer and host of the Nat Geo WILD series Monster Fish, will talk about his search for freshwater giants at a National Geographic Live event on March 26 in Washington DC.

While the talk is one-night only, Washington DC tourists and residents can join Hogan on a journey to find and protect the world’s largest freshwater fish at the National Geographic Museum.

The exhibit, Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants, will run from March 26, 2015 to October 11, 2015. Guests will meet about 20 of these gargantuan creatures from river basins in Asia, Australia and North and South America. The exhibit will feature five life-size sculptures, as long 20 feet, of these big fish—including a climbable sawfish. There will also be a gallery of aquariums with live fish, including a juvenile alligator gar, to showcase multiple healthy freshwater ecosystems from around the world.

Visitors can test their survival skills in the obstacle course game “Monster Size Me” and help Hogan complete a series of scientific missions in the touchtable game “A Monster Mission.” The littlest museum guests be gone fishing with magnet poles along a stylized riverbank where catches can carefully be released back into the river through clear chutes, while older visitors can take the “Fishin’ Decision” digital challenge to see how many fish species they can quickly decide to keep or release.

For more information about this interactive, family-friendly exhibit, please visit National Geographic Museum’s Monster Fish.

Caroline Gerdes recently graduated from Louisiana State University where she studied journalism and history (her major and minor, respectively). As a native of the Greater New Orleans Area, she decided to explore her own backyard with help from a Young Explorers Grant. Caroline is currently conducting an oral history project about the New Orleans Ninth Ward. She seeks to record the community’s full history — its immigrant beginnings, the development of jazz, the depression and prohibition, desegregation and hurricanes. Caroline’s exploration is also a personal quest as her father and paternal grandparents grew up in the Ninth Ward. Her blogs reflect an inside look at New Orleans life and culture, especially the edible aspects.

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