Brazil's aquaculture and fisheries secretary decreed last month that 2,000 different species of ornamental fish can be legally removed from the Brazilian Amazon. The fish will be farmed to supply the aquarium trade. This raises concerns about over-exploitation and threats to biodiversity, particularly given the poor record of inspection and reinforcement by the country's environmental agencies (see A. L. B. Magalhães and J. R. S. Vitule Science 341, 457; 2013).
The new ruling could stimulate indiscriminate extraction, biopiracy, fish trafficking and the escape of farmed species into ecoregions of the country where they are not native. Close monitoring must be a priority.
We should be educating people about how to conserve Brazil's exuberant aquatic diversity, not encouraging its plunder.
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Vitule, J., Sampaio, F. & Magalhães, A. Monitor Brazil's fish sampling closely. Nature 513, 315 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/513315d
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