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Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Researchers Collaborate on Support of Amazon Fish

March 13th, 2015

Tim-Jen-ChristianeBy Jennifer (Grossman) Sargent, DVM

Three OSU veterinarians- Drs. Christiane Löhr, Tim Miller-Morgan, and Jen (Grossman) Sargent- recently returned from a 2 week expedition in Brazil. The trip was organized by Project Piaba, a group whose mission is to promote the sustainable harvest of the Rio Negro’s aquatic resources.

The Rio Negro, a major tributary of the Amazon River, is home to a variety of beautiful freshwater fish that are popular in the ornamental fish trade, such as the cardinal tetra and the discus. The trade in these fish promotes rainforest conservation, since a viable fishery is dependent on healthy fish habitat, but this fishery faces significant logistical and economic challenges.

The Project Piaba expedition brings together veterinarians, public aquarists, industry experts, and other stakeholders to better understand the current state of the ornamental fish trade in the region and to support local efforts to make improvements.  Dr. Miller-Morgan coordinated an on-board seminar series and training program for our Brazilian partners. Drs. Löhr and Sargent assisted Dr. Miller-Morgan with the fish health training aspect of the trip.

Of course, the group also took time to enjoy the Amazon. While cruising up and down the river in two very well-appointed boats, the Iracema and the Dorinha, the expedition made stops for wildlife viewing, swimming with pink river dolphins, celebrating the Ornamental Fish Festival of Barcelos, and touring the historic city of Manaus. Sound like fun? Project Piaba does an annual expedition in late January/early February and there are often open spots available for curious adventurers. You too can be doing fish necropsies while watching thAmazonCanoee Amazon rainforest float by!

For more information contact Drs. Miller-Morgan (tim.miller-morgan@oregonstate.edu), Löhr (christiane.loehr@oregonstate.edu), or Sargent (jennifer.grossman@oregonstate.edu).

Jennifer Sargent is a Laboratory Animal Medicine Resident and Graduate Research Assistant in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine.


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