are the zebs saved???!!

Whats happening in the wild, current issues and debates....oooh this one'll get hot!

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bengranger80
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are the zebs saved???!!

Post by bengranger80 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:09 pm

Hi, found this article
Maybe the zebs are safe after all???

Also I have seen a lot of w/c Zebs for sale recently, apparently being imported through colombia. Does anyone think that the price is going to drop any time soon?

Please comment on this if anyone has any info.



Lula Promises not to Shove Belo Monte Down Our Throats
Mon, 07/27/2009 - 6:09am



President Lula Meets with Social Movements to Discuss Belo Monte Dam ( Ricardo Stuckert, Presidência da República)
In a potentially historic meeting, social movements and indigenous people fighting Belo Monte Dam met with President Lula last week. Those present reported that Lula promised to initiate a dialogue on the proposed project, and that the president guaranteed in his own inimitable way that that "Belo Monte will not be shoved down anyone's throat." But, how likely is Lula to slow down or halt the electric sector's juggernaut that is primed to push the project forward at any cost?

The meeting in Brasília was an initiative the Bishop of the Xingu, Dom Erwin Krautler, who is also national president of Cimi, the Catholic Church's indigenous support group. Taking part were representatives of affected indigenous peoples, river bank dwellers, and small farmers who would suffer the impacts of what would be the world's third largest hydroelectric dam, with 11,231 MW of installed capacity. Advisors of the movement who were present included Célio Bermann of the University of São Paulo and two public attorneys from Pará state.

According to those who were there, the meeting began with presentations by high-level electric sector officials, including Eletrobrás' head of engineering, Valter Cardeal, the Mines and Energy Ministry's Planning Secretary, Altino Ventura Filho, Brazil's head of energy planning, Maurício Tolmasquim, and Paulo Fernando Rezende, the Eletrobrás enginner in charge of Belo Monte studies who suffered the wrath of the Kayapó at last year's Altamira gathering. The officials waxed poetically on the benefits of Belo Monte ("a gift from God; clean, renewable, cheap energy") and of hydroelectric dams in the Amazon in general. The officials did not spare criticism of International Rivers' book, "Tenotã-Mó," a series of studies questioning the viability of the project.

Also present was the president of Funai, Brazil's indigenous protection service, and Ibama's environmental licensing director. Conspicuous by their absence were the Mines and Energy Minister, Edison Lobão, who was reportedly busy telling potential investors in Washington that the Madeira dams "had zero environmental impacts"; environment minister Carlos Minc, and Lula's chief-of-staff and unannounced presidential candidate, Dilma Roussef.

After nearly two hours, the president entered the room, and heard Célio Bermann's presentation regarding the project's projected poor performance during the dry season, when it would generate less than 2,000 MW during several months.

Lula surprised everyone by saying "we will not force the project down anyone's throat," and making statements which indicated his apparent willingness to review the project's feasibility. Participants report he stated "we have to come to an agreement about whether there are other cheaper, more competitive alternatives... the electric sector has enormous debts with affected communities - monetary and credibility debts...the electric sector promises everything and does nothing...the people have reason to not trust their promises... I know the companheiros from MAB. There are still people who did not receive land after the São Francisco River dams were built (in the 1970's)...Lots of people come to build the dams and then end up in a miserable state...Balbina is a monument to insanity. We would not build Balbina, or Itaipu."

And, perhaps most telling. "It's just not possible to build a dam with 11,000 MW (capacity) and then have only 4,000 MW year-round. The energy is going to be very expensive...If the project can be improved, let's build it. If it is inviable, we won't build it".

After forty-five minutes, Lula closed the meeting by asking the social movements to send him a specific critique of the project, and by ordering Eletrobrás to prepare a presentation for him on their plans for Belo Monte.

The social movements emerged reservedly hopeful that the already delayed Belo Monte auction (currently set for late October) to private companies may be pushed back even further, and that a more democratic and open debate on the project may begin to take place over the coming months. About 25-30 independent experts have committed to evaluate the project studies, and at the very least Belo Monte should receive greater scrutiny as a result of the meeting with Lula. But, whether the results of the president's involvement will merely be a "green windowdressing" for the project, or whether Belo Monte will grind to a halt remains to be seen.

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Post by Jo's Zebs » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:44 pm

The wild caught fish are illegally exported from the river they belong in the fact that a lot are making it on to the market shows demand is still high and that the ban is not working 100%, I think everyone has there own stand on this issue.
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Post by TwoTankAmin » Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:38 pm

A few comments.

Governments talk, governments listen and then big business wins out. The odds are are that when all is said and done, the dams are likely to go up. Business interests almost always win out over the common man.

When it comes to zebras there are a variety of considerations. Perhaps the most important one is to understand their natural habitat. While we all know that zebras only live in the Xingu, there is an even more important fact to consider. According to Ingo Seidel, who spoke on Aquanet radio recently, the zebra habitat is extremely limited.

Zebras live in somewhat deep waters- 7-10 meters (20-30 ft or so). The water temps are pretty warm and the zebras need the water to be well oxygenated to survive. Their habitat is limited to one stretch of the river which is bounded on either end by rapids. It is the action of these rapids that gets the needed oxygen into the water for the fish. On either side of these rapids are stretches of much calmer water which contain much less oxygen. The result is that the zebras can not cross these slower moving waters to establish other habitats.

If the only issue of potential threat to the species were the dam projects, one could hope that there is a chance that the dams wont be built. However, there are other factors at work. The clear cutting of the jungles/rain forests for the sake of agriculture are likey an even greater threat. Crops need water and rivers have it. So a lot of the farmland gets "created" near the rivers. Mess around with Google maps using the satellite view and look at the area around the Xingu. As you zoom down what first appears to be lush green rain forest suddenly become large bare patches.

The thing about farming is that crops get fertilized. As the land gets loaded with chemicals and pesticides, these chemicals inevitably find their way into the surrounding rivers and streams. Many fish, including zebras, need good clean water in which to live. The agricultural runoff is happening now and it is more than possible it could destroy our favrite fish before any dams do.

However, there must be fish left for chemicals to destroy. The current spate of unchecked illegal collection and smuggling of zebras may also be a threat. The worldwide surge in demand for zebras pushed their price high enough to make it worthwhile for them to be caught illegally and smuggled out of Brazil to be sold from Peru and other bordering countries.

Since there is no scientific data on wild populations of zebras, one can only go by anectdotal evifence and supposition. What we do know is it takes time for zebras to be mature enough to spawn and that they produce a relatively small number of offspring per spawn. They are also seasonal spawners, so they are not spawning year round. In the radio broadcast Ingo mentioned that several years back a friend had been diving in the zebra habitat to see what was up. This person reported that he saw plenty of fish at that time. But there are no hard and fast facts about the true nature of the populations nor whether these are increasing, stable or declining. My feeling is that it is the latter.

What we have all seen is the recent explosion in the availability of wild caught zebras of all sizes. In years past when I sought to buy these fish, I mostly chased after adult size fish and I ran into more dissapointment than success before I finally got my hands on them. last night on AquaBid, an American fish auction site, one seller alone has these listed:

1251359971 10 WC L46 zebras plecos FREE SHIPPING!!!! Unungy 8/27 02:59 1400.00
1251360473 5 WC L46 zebras plecos FREE SHIPPING!!!! Unungy 8/27 03:07 700.00
1251360811 20 WC L46 zebras plecos FREE SHIPPING!!!! Unungy 8/27 03:13 3200.00
1251361105 30 WC L46 zebras plecos FREE SHIPPING!!!! Unungy 8/27 03:18 4800.00
1251361502 40 WC L46 zebras plecos FREE SHIPPING!!!! Unungy 8/27 03:25 6400.00
1251362085 50 WC L46 zebras plecos FREE SHIPPING!!!! Unungy 8/27 03:34 8000.00
1251383401 WC Zebra pleco adult colony of 3 for SALE!!! Unungy 8/27 09:30 540.
There are other sellers showing wild caught fish as well. And this is only what is easy to find online for sale in the USA. I would assume similar offerings are found in other countries as well.

Moreover, a person I consider to be reliable recently told me that at a major fish weekend event there was a seller offering lots of zebras. I was told the fish did not look real healthy and had sunken bellies. Not many of the fish sold but every day there were fewer offered. What this indicates to me is that the smuggling process allows the fish to go unfed and to be mishandled. For every fish that makes it here, or anywhere else in the world, how many have probably died in the catching and smuggling process?

The upshot very well could be that the illegal collection that has been ongoing for a while is enough to cause the wild populations to crash. Long before the runoff of chemicals or the building of dams might destroy this species, the demand from fishkeepers around the world may result in the demise of the species.

The only consolation is that there are now a decent number of folks around the world breeding these fish in tanks. Hopefully, there is sufficient genetic diversity present in this process to allow for the continued survival of these fish and tanks should they disappear from the wild.
What makes the common person uncommon is common sense.

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