Grey to white in colour and lacking stripes, the Mekong giant catfish is distinguished from other large catfish species in the river by the near-total lack of barbels and the absence of teeth. The Mekong giant catfish once held the Guinness World Records' position for the world's largest freshwater fish in 2005. Attaining an unconfirmed length of 3 m (9. 8 ft), the Mekong giant catfish grows extremely quickly, reaching a mass of 150 to 200 kg (330 to 440 lb) in six years. It can reportedly weigh up to 350 kg (770 lb). The largest catch recorded in Thailand since record-keeping began in 1981 was a female measuring 2. 7 m (8 ft 10 in) in length and weighing 293 kg (646 lb). This specimen, caught in 2005, is widely recognized as the largest freshwater fish ever caught (although the largest sturgeon species can far exceed this size, they are anadromous). Thai fisheries officials stripped the fish of its eggs as part of a breeding programme, intending then to release it, but the fish died in captivity and was sold as food to local villagers. Juvenile fish wear barbels that shrink as they age. . Numbers of young fish are declining. Spawning fish in upper Cambodia are being over harvested. Larval fish are posed by threats of habitat fragmentation due to construction of dams which are becoming increasingly common.