Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 10:03AM

Arapaima gigas Schinz., known locally as "paiche" in Peru and "pirarucu" in Brazil, is the largest freshwater fish in Amazonia. Individuals may be over 2m long and weigh up to 100 kg. Commercial fishing of the species is banned in many parts of Amazonia because of over-exploitation. Paiche must surface every 5 to 15 minute to breathe, and they are easy targets for fisherman with harpoons. Easy to fish + delicious meat + large boneless steaks +local protein shortages = sure formula for resource depletion. [NOTE: Photo from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.     

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