HomeNewsPolice in Brazil Net Mass Seizure of Ornamental Fish
NEWS

Police in Brazil Net Mass Seizure of Ornamental Fish

BRAZIL / 29 MAR 2021 BY KATIE JONES EN

Authorities in Brazil have seized thousands of live freshwater fish native to the country’s Amazon region that are commonly seen in the aquarium trade.

An inspection led authorities to some 7,300 ornamental fish on a boat at the port of São Raimundo in Manaus, the capital of the country’s Amazonas state, according to a March 18 news release by Amazonas officials.

SEE ALSO: Social Media Used to Sell Exotic Animals in Brazil

The fish, which had been captured in the rivers of the state’s interior and lacked documentation for transport, were spread across some 50 plastic containers. They included 15 different varieties, many of which are commonly sold in aquarium shops, including the cardinal tetra, iridescent pencil fish and black ghost knife fish.

The seized fish were worth about 200,000 reales ($36,000) in total, according to the authorities. The individual responsible was fined an unspecified amount.

InSight Crime Analysis

Many of the freshwater fish sold in the aquarium trade, including the popular blue-and-red cardinal tetras, are native to Brazil’s Amazon river basin.

Between 2012 to 2019, over 30 species of ornamental fish were illegally trafficked from Brazil. The cardinal tetra made up over 40 percent of all ornamental fish seizures in that period, according to a 2020 report by the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network (TRAFFIC).

Ornamental fish sourced from Brazil’s Amazon have gone to supply a multibillion-dollar market for home aquariums in Asia, Europe and the United States.

SEE ALSO: Economic Hardship During Pandemic Caused Wildlife Trafficking in Brazil to Soar

The legal export of such fish from the Amazon is common. In Peru, ornamental fish exports brought in some $2.5 million in 2018. But fish harvested illegally are often mixed in with legal specimens and shipped to international markets in mass quantities.

Many seizures of ornamental fish are not included in datasets produced by Brazil’s environmental agency (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis — IBAMA) or its environmental ministry (Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade — ICMBio), making the illicit trade in such fish particularly hard to monitor.

Customs officials, moreover, often are unable to distinguish between legal and illegal exports.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

BRAZIL / 29 MAR 2013

The United Nations has criticized the "excessive use of detentions" in Brazil, feeding the problems faced by the country's…

BRAZIL / 23 APR 2019

A series of revelations about how militias in Rio de Janeiro are laundering large quantities of money through illegal real…

BOLIVIA / 31 AUG 2012

Bolivia’s government said it will not allow Brazilian police to eradicate illegal coca crops within its borders, resisting Brazil’s increased…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…