Aquariums and Zoos can play an active role educating visitors about this beneficial fishery
Every year the Amazon River rises as much at 30 feet (10 meters) and inundates thousands of square miles of tropical forest. Many species of fish spawn early in the flood season and dramatically increase their numbers. After the flood waters recede and the river returns to its channels, these populations go into an annual decline as the waterways dry; only to experience the population explosion again during the next year’s flood event.
In the Rio Negro, many forest resident communities base their livelihoods on the capture of these brilliantly colored fishes for export to the global home aquarium hobby. The revenue that the fishery generates for people residing in regions of biological importance creates a very effective incentive to protect not only the fish, but the entire tropical ecosystem. Outcomes include protection for a variety of critically endangered species, poverty alleviation for rural people, and preservation of tropical forests and that helps to offset the effects of climate change.
We always seek display specimens from responsible sources like the Rio Negro aquarium trade. If you have a home aquarium, or you are considering starting one, please look for environmentally friendly fishes. For more information, visit www.projectpiaba.org
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Request for Proposals: Awardees to be announced August 4
Rio Negro Aquarium Fishery Themed Exhibits 2017
$5,000 to four qualifying institutions
Deadline for completed application submission:
June 30, 2017 before 11:59pm EDT
Decisions communicated to selected institutions:
August 4 ,2017
To qualify for this award, completed applications must meet the following criteria:
– Inspiring Exhibit Proposal
– Exhibit to include a small home aquarium (off the shelf)
– Strongest possible message
– to inspire conservation minded fish hobbyists
– Collaborate on messaging research
– Submission from AZA certified institutions
Special consideration will be given to submissions which include:
– Creative ways that you plan to engage young people with technology through this exhibit
– Exhibit plans which include Educator programming tied to the Exhibit
Please submit your application by sending a pdf document to the email below with your institution’s responses to these questions:
1) Provide an example of the strongest wording your institution would approve for the exhibit your institution plans to build: (three examples are: “Buy a Fish, Save a Tree”, “Tiny Fish, Big Impact”, “From Rivers to Retail”)
2) Send a rough drawing including the wording proposed and layout which your institution will support:
3) What is the proposed opening date of the exhibit?
4) How long is it expected that the exhibit will be in place?
5) How big is the space you have planned for the exhibit?
6) Please include a “before” photo of this space and attach it to your submission.
7) If your institution plans to engage young people through technology with this exhibit, what would the plans include (you can also submit drawings or pictures to support your reply)?
8) If your institution plans to include an educator program tied to the exhibit, what would those entail?
9) Does your institution plan to include information about the exhibit on your website? If yes, how?
10) Would the Project Piaba Website be included as a reference at your exhibit?
11) If your institution has a retail fish store nearby, please mention it in your application.
12) If your institution hosts a fish club, please mention it here:
13) Name of person submitting, Contact phone number, Email, Name of institution, Institution physical address, web address.
Notes and Requirements on Funds Use:
This exhibit project is being undertaken thanks to support by the World Pet Association.
These funds must be used for a Rio Negro Aquarium Fishery Exhibit build to be completed by December 31, 2017 at selected institutions. The funds can be used for materials purchased to support the exhibit such as sign printing, photo finishing, building materials. Funds can be used for physical materials educators used to support the exhibit such as tablets and TV monitors. Funds cannot be used for travel costs, staff time costs or overhead.
Questions regarding the application can be mailed to RFPExhibit@ProjectPiaba.org.
A pdf document with your institutions responses to these questions including supporting materials can be emailed to RFPExhibit@ProjectPiaba.Org before 11:59pm EDT on June 30, 2017.
About the Rio Negro Aquarium Fishery in Brazil and Project Piaba’s work with the Fishery:
For decades, the global trade in freshwater fishes for home aquariums has provided livelihoods for rural people, often serving as the economic base in regions of critical biological importance. These fisheries generally consist of low biological off-take, especially when considering the revenue generated for fishing communities and others. In addition, there is evidence that these fisheries drive environmental protectionism and therefore help maintain more vital ecosystem services. However, the social and environmental benefits from these fisheries are threatened by many external factors. For example, animal rights organizations and other NGOs are actively encouraging ex-situ captive breeding. The IUCN’s Freshwater Fish Specialist Group recently established a sub-group with the objective to better identify and catalogue case studies of fisheries which result in socioeconomic and environmental benefits.
Public aquariums and zoos have an opportunity to educate and foster environmental outcomes by showcasing such fisheries. Adding to pioneering exhibits that highlight home aquarium fisheries case studies and the impacts to inspire visitors, particularly young people is one of our focus areas. There are opportunities for future exhibits, honing messaging and deepening educational programming and engaging young people with the goal of inspiring passion for science and conservation.