Video Transcript for Amazon Research Center For Ornamental Fishes
The Amazon River basin is home to over 3000 species of fish, more than any other river system on earth. The people of this region rely heavily on fishing for their survival.
In addition over 300 types of fish are captured and exported for the aquarium fish trade. Most of these fish find their way to aquariums in Asia, Europe and North America. The aquarium trade is a multi-million dollar business for some of the poorest areas of Peru, where most other business opportunities do not exist. IN 2013, over 10 million* aquarium fish were exported out of the Peruvian Amazon, bringing in 3.4 million dollars in revenue. This money goes directly into the local fishing communities.
For decades, it was thought that the ornamental fish trade was one of the few sustainable resources in the Amazon basin, but scientists now believe differently. As research shows, the fish populations are declining. Over-fishing by the aquarium trade may be causing some species to disappear. If this happens, the economy of these local villages will be devastated, as well as the overall destruction of this most precious ecosystem.
Hi, I’m Dr. Anthony Mazeroll, the Director of the Amazon Research Center For Ornamental Fishes. We are a non-profit organization concerned with what is happening to the Amazon region, more specifically what is happening to the fishes of the Amazon. The Amazon Research Center for Ornamental Fishes was created to study the ecology and conservation of aquarium fishes.
This research center will be the first of its kind dedicated entirely to aquarium fishes. We will bring [together] scientists, [and] student from all over the world, [who are] studying different aquarium fishes. We will also bring together exporters and local fisherman to try to create sustainable breeding practices for fishes that are found in the local areas.
The research center is located approximately 10 miles south of the city of Iquitos, Peru, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. The land we purchased is ideally suited for the research center. It has a stream that flows throughout the year regardless of the season. The elevation relief of the land allows water to flow downhill from one pond to the next.
We are asking you to help fund the first phase of a three phase project to build the center. During phase one, the laboratories and all research ponds will be built. Any additional funds raised at this time will be designated to support phase two, which is the construction of a lecture hall and museum education center. The final phase, phase three, will be the building of the dormitory, which will allow foreign students and scientists to live on site while conducting their research.
Thank you for your interest in our crowdfunding project. Your money will support research that will not only support the local communities in Peru, but will help preserve and ecosystem that serves as the lifeblood of the planet.
For more on this crowdfunding project, visit the Amazon Research Center for Ornamental Fishes IndieGoGo Campaign; funds are being solicited through December 12th, 2014.
* note, the narrator misstates this as “10 billion”, but it has been verified with Dr. Mazeroll as 10 million.