Target: President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff
Goal: Stop communities from killing rare arapaima
The arapaima is a giant fish that lives in the Amazon river. Growing up to 10 feet, these fish are notoriously easy to catch because they need to breathe air, and come up to the surface every five to fifteen minutes. These fish have become locally extinct in certain parts of the river, and scientists are demanding some sort of management system to be put in place before these fish become completely extinct. Urge the president of Brazil to ban the fishing and killing of arapaima so the species can repopulate.
Arapaima can weigh more than eight pounds, and because of the fact that they are air-breathers instead of breathing through gills, it makes it easy for fishermen to catch them. They are one of the largest freshwater fish, and they used to dominant Amazon waters. Thanks to overfishing, the arapaima has become locally extinct in certain parts of the Amazon river. Scientists have initiated studies of the fish’s livelihood in forty-one communities, and it’s estimated that the arapaima are extinct in eight communities. Further research found that 57% of the survey area showed a depletion of arapaima, locally extinct in 19% of communities, over-exploited in 17%, and well-managed in 5%. Only 2% of the survey area was not used for fishing.
Scientists had hoped that once fishermen noticed a scarcity of fish, they would have moved on, and allow the arapaima to repopulate that area of the river. This has not been the case. Fishermen have stayed in their section of the river, and it has endangered the arapaima. Furthermore, a lack of data has made scientists hesitant to act. Currently a community management system is being put into place, but without government backing, this plan could fail. Urge the Brazilian president to place a ban on fishing and killing the arapaima so these fish can repopulate the Amazon River.
Dear President Rousseff,
It has come to my attention that arapaima, one of the largest fish water fish in the world, has become locally extinct in certain areas of the Amazon. This greatly concerns me, as these fish are necessary to control the ecosystem of the water. They are also necessary for the well being of human communities who rely on the Amazon River for food and income. If the arapaima disappear completely, it will hurt the ecosystem.
I urge you to place a ban on fishing and killing the arapaima. This is a drastic and necessary solution to ensuring these fish do not disappear from our planet, and I implore you to issue this ban immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Cliff via Wikimedia Commons