Mission and Objectives
The Mission of Project Piaba is to increase the environmental, animal welfare, and social sustainability of the Amazonian aquarium fish trade, to develop and incorporate metrics through which this progress can be assessed, and to provide mechanisms to promote this industry.
-To collect baseline data on the ecosystem, socio-economy and diversity of fishes and to analyze the impact of the aquarium fish trade on social and natural environments.
-To develop “Best Handling Practices” (BHP) for the care of captured fishes destined for international markets. The BHP protocols will be designed to minimize stress and trauma at capture, at intermediary stages, and pre-export conditioning will be conducted, primarily through improved fish nutrition and acclimation to water conditions commonly found in the international trade. BHPs are seen as one of the key points to being most competitive in the world market. Fishes that have been carefully handled, fed highly nutritious foods, and acclimated for proper water chemical parameters, will have a high value and market demand, and maximize socioeconomic and environmental benefits.
-To develop a marketing strategy for community sourced fish, where consumers will have the capacity, via a tracking system, to get information on-line about the history of their individual fish, including a photo and bio of the fisher that caught their fish, Google Earth link to the spot where their fish was captured, other environmental information about where the fish was caught. In the interview with the fisher, they will be asked what they would do for a living if they couldn’t sell fish (frequent responses are: timber harvest, cattle ranching, gold mining, urban migration).
-To provide environmental education and socio-cultural history to local children, fishers, distributors and public, and to promote career development in aquarium science and conservation.
-To create community based fishery management strategies which would include managed harvest levels, stock enhancement of fishes and turtles and the development of aquaculture of native species.
-To assist in the revision of policies by regulatory agencies in order to protect vulnerable species and enhance the economic viability of the region.
-To encourage local entrepreneurship, eco-tourism, the production of local crafts and the commercialization of other sustainable natural resources.