Expeditions

Join a Trip of a Lifetime

Expedition to the Fishery in the Brazilian Amazon!

Dates:  September 24-October 8 2022

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The trip includes:

  • 2 weeks on a well-appointed live-aboard boat. Participants will share a room with one other person. Rooms are air-conditioned and include comfortable bunks beds, linens, private in-room bathrooms with toilet and shower, electric outlets.
  • Visits to biological hotspots in small boats; opportunities to view fish in their wild habitat when you snorkel.
  • Visits and opportunities to meet with aquarium fishing communities.
  • Participate in best handing practices training with fishing communities to better the health of exported fish.
  • Collect, photograph and release newly legalized species for aquarium export.
  • Participate in developing traceability techniques for individual fish through the supply chain.
  • Visits to home aquarium fish export facilities.
  • Delicious meals prepared by experienced cooks; mineral water, juices, and coffee/tea.
  • All possible Covid-19 safety protocols will be adhered to, we are requiring trip participants to be vaccinated and tested prior to departure.

Create lasting memories and join us!

Contact Scott Dowd or Jackie Anderson for more information and to reserve your spot for the next expedition!
Scott:  SDowd@Projectpiaba.org  OR Jackie:  janderson@projectpiaba.org

Field work 2015 7.9 Oh, Black Waters - Eric Rassmussen


Itinerary and Information

 

Project Piaba 2022 Trip Itinerary and Information

(Saturday, September 24, 2022) 

**Participants need to plan to arrive evening of Saturday, September 24 **

If you arrive before the evening of September 24, there is a local hotel where you can make reservations**

Arrival Manaus, Brazil — September 24, Saturday or before boat departure before sunrise on Sunday, September 25

Most of the group will rendezvous in Miami (USA) for the overnight flight to Manaus (Brazil).  For those arriving with the group today, we will be greeted at Manaus Airport by our boat captain and staff with a bus to take us directly to the boat.  Others will need to coordinate their arrival to the boat through other methods.

Day 1 (September 25)

In the wee hours of September 25th, we will depart on the boat up the Rio Negro.

We will likely take us out on a morning excursion for bird watching and fishing and snorkeling. There will be an opportunity to see and swim with pink river dolphins.

Evening Lecture:

The Project Piaba team will provide an overview of the beneficial Rio Negro Fishery and summarize the work that has been done and is being done to study and support the fishery.  Question and Answer session to follow.  This discussion also includes a work plan for the week.

Rough Expedition Itinerary (September 25th- October 7th) 

We will travel the remaining 450 km (nearly 300 miles) to the city of Barcelos. We will be avoiding crowded areas and exploring the city, but will be resupplying the boat and taking a brief break for WiFi connectivity. The captain will break up the journey with multiple excursions into the jungáe and small streams, both day and night. After our stop at Barcelos, we’ll also spend at least 3 days on the Rio Demini– a large tributary of the Rio Negro with unique populations of fish.

Project Piaba specialists will be conducting best handling practices trainings with a fishing community on the Rio Demini and the Rio Aracá Participants are welcome to help with this work, or to explore the ecosystem with the boat crews.

Project Piaba specialists will be collecting, photographing and documenting the presence of different species of fish that are suitable for aquariums. Expedition participants are welcome to help collect this data and assist in fish with various tasks.

Evening lectures will include detail overviews of the work on the fishery including briefings by international experts, scientists, veterinarians, zoos, aquariums and the commercial industry leaders as well as members of the Project Piaba Brazil Team.  These international experts and Brazil experts will share their work on the Fishery including research and plans for socio-economic, forestry and carbon storage assessments, fish population survey work, animal husbandry work and other topic; the technical and broad work that is being done on this fishery will be covered.

Closing each night, the captain will go over the next day’s plans.

October 5, 2022

We’ll begin our trip down river for our return to Manaus.

The captain will continue to break up the long travel distances with stops along the river to see more spectacular sights.

The specialists will continue their work and continue to look for expedition participants to assist with fish surveys, fish health work ups, data gathering, etc.  There is plenty to do and it’s up to the participants what level they would like to volunteer and participate.

October 7, 2022

We’ll aim to reach the confluence of the Rio Negro and the Amazon River for sunrise on October 7th.  We’ll see the “Encontro das Aguas” where the two rivers- of dramatically different color- meet & mix.

After breakfast on the boat, we will have meetings with the exporters in Manaus, meet with INPA and UFAM collaborators and usually a meeting with the Brazilian Fisheries officials is also held on this day.  A discussion of the research projects underway, progress and next steps is also usually held.

Most participants plan to depart on the evening of October 8th, and arrive in Miami (or other international destination) early the next morning.

If you plan to stay in Manaus after October 8th, there is a local hotel where you can make reservations and stay at a reasonable rate.

**Photographs taken by Keith Heberling during 2015 Expedition**

EXPEDITION PARTICIPATION INCLUDES:

  • 2 weeks on a well-appointed live-aboard boat. Participants will share a room with one other person. Rooms are air-conditioned and include comfortable bunks beds, linens, private in-room bathrooms with toilet and shower, electric outlets.
  • Visits to biological hotspots in small boats; opportunities to view fish in their wild habitat when you snorkel.
  • Visits and opportunities to meet with aquarium fishing communities.
  • Participate in best handing practices training with fishing communities to better the health of exported fish.
  • Collect, photograph and release newly legalized species for aquarium export.
  • Participate in developing traceability techniques for individual fish through the supply chain.
  • Visits to home aquarium fish export facilities.
  • Delicious meals prepared by experienced cooks; mineral water, juices, and coffee/tea.
  • All possible Covid-19 safety protocols will be adhered to, we are requiring trip participants to be vaccinated and tested prior to departure.

EXPEDITION PARTICIPATION DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Bar drinks such as beer/alcohol, carbonated drinks, bottled water. You maintain a tab for this during the trip (honor bar) and pay the bar bill at the end.
  • The crew tip is not included and is usually pooled at the end of the trip. We encourage participants to tip at their personal comfort level.  Most participants tip 10% of the trip cost.
  • Roundtrip airfare is not included (We can provide suggestions.)
  • Passport applications and costs are not included.
  • There is no visa requirement for visiting Brazil.

Additional Details

ESSENTIAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: We ask that all participants be able to swim as a safety precaution. The ability to swim is important for safety reasons as a large portion of the project is conducted from a boat and in the water. All participants must be at last 21 years old or accompanied by a parent. Expedition participants that wish to assist in research efforts must be adept swimmers and should be comfortable snorkeling in open water (for 10 to 15 minutes intervals) in areas where expedition participants can’t stand on the bottom, and be comfortable using snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel).

In addition, all participants must be able to: • Be comfortable living and working on or from a boat for two weeks. •  Maintain a seated position within small wooden outboard canoes during transit, which can sometimes be bumpy. This can be uncomfortable for individuals with back problems. •  Enter and exit the water from small boats. •  Have good balance, especially when on and around the water. •  Enjoy being outdoors all day in all types of weather. Weather can range from being very sunny, humid, and warm to cloudy and rainy (with heavy downpours). •  Endure hot and cold work conditions. Brazil and this area of the Amazon is very close to the equator and we’ll be on the equator at points, which means hot conditions and high sun exposure. Expedition participants should bring warm weather clothing, including a sweater and thin rain jacket/windbreaker, as the weather can be variable. Expedition Participants should also expect to get wet on the boat, which can lead to cooler conditions with wind or when the boat is in motion. • Follow verbal and/or visual instructions independently or with the assistance of a companion. • Maintain a collegial/friendly attitude while living and working in close quarters for two weeks with a group of diverse participants of up to 24 people. • Respect and follow the instructions of expedition leaders and staff. • Respect the natural environment and the cultures of the areas we will visit.

We also require all participants to:

  • Be sure that your passport is up to date with a minimum expiration date of December 24, 2021.
  • See your doctor to confirm you are physically fit for this trip, visit your doctor or travel clinic for up to date immunizations and health resources for this area.
  • Purchase travel insurance.
  • Currently Brazil doesn’t have visa requirements for US Citizens, however, we encourage you to stay up to date on visa requirements.

FIELD EXPEDITIONS ARE CHALLENGING:

Keep in mind that an expedition of this nature requires improvisation, and you may need to be flexible. Expedition plans evolve in response to new findings, as well as to unpredictable factors such as weather, equipment failure, and travel challenges. To enjoy your expedition to the fullest, remember to expect the unexpected, be tolerant of repetitive tasks, and try to find humor in difficult situations. If there are any major changes in the expedition plan or field logistics, Project Piaba will make every effort to keep you well informed.

We will be taking photos and video to tell the Rio Negro aquarium fishery story during the expedition. We welcome you to contribute to our media bank, see our Wild Fish Friday playlist on our YouTube channel for video showcasing the unique and beautiful habitat you will see on this trip.

Suggested Packing List:

  • Hat with a brim to shade face and back of neck.
  • Sun glasses, lots of sun screen & insect repellant are a must; this is the equator!
  • Small day pack for reusable water bottles, cameras, binoculars for canoe excursions.
  • Lightweight rain jacket or poncho and small towel; this is the rainforest.
  • Sneakers or light-weight hiking boots
  • Light-weight, fast-drying long and short pants and long & short-sleeve shirts.
  • Sweatshirt or light-weight jacket
  • Swimsuit and beach towel
  • Sandals/flip-flops and wet shoes or sandals
  • Binoculars
  • Mask & snorkel
  • Bleacher seat cushion with backrest for travel in canoes, if you are likely to be uncomfortable on a boat seat, throwable boat cushions are available for everyone on the boat for use in the canoes.
  • Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries (dive lights are useful and often inexpensive)
  • Drybag/Ziplock/plastic bags for camera, etc.
  • Journal/notebook, writing material
  • Books/reading material (very scarce internet)
  • Favorite snacks & candy
  • Most people bring $200 USD to $300
  • Money can be exchanged on the boat with no fees and an ATM is at the Manaus airport
  • There are few fishing rods and reels on board; you can bring your own if you like

Gifts

Participants of past Expeditions often bring along small gift items to local people and children. If you’d like to do this, you might consider bringing some school & art supplies and small toys for children. New or slightly worn clothes are most welcome.  Basic health and first aid supplies can also be very helpful: toothbrushes, band aids, etc. It’s best not to give any items with English directions or that require batteries or power. Disposable plastic items or items in complicated packaging are not recommended. We also suggest, you leave as much of the original packing materials at home as to avoid creating more waste for these local communities – particularly plastics.