Rare fish nets fisherman £300,000

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A fisherman from China struck gold when he netted a highly prized fish, which he then sold for £300,000.

The Chinese Bahaba (Bahaba taipingensis) — similar to the one pictured above — weighed 176 lb and was caught off the coast of Fujian province last week.

The species is on the IUCN Red List as critically endangered.

The swimbladder is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a cure for heart and lung ailments.

The fisherman, who hasn't been named, said he had found the fish floating near the water surface, and that he just picked it up and took it back to shore.

According to a report in a local newspaper, a bidding war broke out almost as soon as the catch was landed, and it was eventually bought by a local fishmonger.

The fisherman said he would use the money to buy himself a larger boat.

The Chinese Bahaba can reach a length of 2m and a weight in excess of 220 lb. It is threatened by overfishing that continues despite legal protection in China. It is not protected in Hong Kong. Pollution is also thought to have played a part in its decline in numbers.

The IUCN says: "spawning populations are no longer known…and, given the heavy fishing pressure in the region, there are likely to be few or no refuges remaining for recovery".

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