Buy a Fish, Save a Tree!

Project Piaba was established to foster an environmentally and socially beneficial ornamental fish trade. The project grew out of a long-term research program that monitored the cardinal tetra, a popular fish for home aquariums, and other ornamental fishes in the Brazilian Amazon.

When communities thrive selling fish for the aquarium trade, local people protect the resource that sustains them. Project Piaba fosters the sustainable trade in wild-caught aquarium fish, encouraging people to safeguard both rivers and forests--and all the creatures they harbor.

An annual expedition is part of Project Piaba's long term study of the Amazon fishery for the global home aquarium fish trade. Scott Dowd, Senior Aquarist and Project Piaba Director, and other international specialists, along with Project Piaba’s Brazil ground team conduct an expedition each January. If you are interested in seeing the cardinal tetra fishery first-hand, find out how to join us on an expedition!


Case Study: Project Piaba has been used as a case study to fully understand the impact of the aquaculture production of ornamental species in the following publications:


For more information please visit Project Piaba's website or send an email to Scott Dowd at or Dr. Michael Tlusty at