Eco-Amazon Piabas of Rio Negro

Creating a sustainable and fair trade ornamental fishery
2009 SEED Award Winner Sustainable Agriculture Brazil

The project aims to safeguard traditional ornamental fisheries in the Amazon in a sustainable way by stimulating a niche market. Through a socially and environmentally responsible fishery cooperative and traders, the initiative introduces a fair trade system for rural communities. A cooperative will supply tropical fish hobbyists with Amazon fish that carry a green label which indicates that the fish was sourced in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. It will also include a geographic origin indication. This promotes an international ‘green’ ornamental fish industry and the conservation of the Amazon. Eco-Amazon, together with the cooperative, not only explores greater varieties of target species to meet the market demand but also reduces fishing pressure on traditional species.  

The project initially targets the Asian market but aims to expand to the worldwide fish market.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

Eco-Amazon Piabas of Rio Negro preserves the Amazonian rainforest through a sustainable ornamental fishery and provides additional sources of income for the locals.
  • Introducing a fair trade system through the cooperative which supports and encourages entrepreneurship.
  • Providing additional sources of income through financial returns.
  •  Contributing to the reduced urban migration and maintaining traditional family values and structures.
  • Exploring greater varieties of target species, meeting market demand while reducing fishing pressure on traditional species.
  • Alternating between different habitats to avoid local overfishing and minimizing the impact on aquatic habitats.
  • Increasing the income of fish collectors and small exporters.
  • Inspiring new community entrepreneurs to take initiatives, such as ecotourism. 
  •  Promoting “green” business model to the ornamental fish industry.


This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

Project Piaba of Bio-Amazonia Conservation International and Universidade Federal do Amazonas studied the bio-ecology and socio-economic aspects of the fishery for 20 years, which is the basis of this project.

ORNAPESCA is a fish collectors’ cooperative of Rio Negroestablished to voice and act on a fair trade system.

Aquafish and Aquário Neon are two medium-sized exporters, who have worked with Project Piabato develop a market with partner distributor Auaproject-Taiwan.

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