[MARMAM] New paper: DNA can help ending the illegal killing of river dolphins to be used as bait in Brazil

Haydee Cunha haydeecunha at yahoo.com.br
Wed Aug 5 12:13:11 PDT 2015

Dear Marmammers, my co-authors and I are pleased toannounce the following publication: When You Get What You Haven’t Paid for: MolecularIdentification of “Douradinha” Fish Fillets Can Help End the Illegal Use of River Dolphinsas Bait in BrazilHaydée A. Cunha, Vera M. F. da Silva, Teresa E.C. Santos, Stella M. Moreira, Nivia A. S. do Carmo andAntonio M. Solé-CavaJournal of Heredity 106: 565-572 This study provided scientific proofused by the Amazon State prosecutor to recommend a ban on the fishing andfraudulent selling of piracatinga as “douradinha”, later issued by the BrazilianMinistries of the Environment and Fisheries. This measure was considered as afirst, much needed action to end the illegal use of river dolphins as bait inBrazil. To learn more about the “boto-bait”issue and to help, please visit http://www.alertavermelho.org.br/en/. AbstractThe fishery for Calophysus macropterus, an Amazonian necrophagous catfish, ishighly detrimental to river dolphins and caimans, which are deliberately killedfor use as bait. In the Brazilian Amazon, this fishery has increased over thelast decade, in spite of the rejection of scavenger fishes by Brazilianconsumers. It was suspected that C.macropterus fillets were being sold in Brazilian markets, disguised as afictitious fish (the “douradinha”). We collected 62 fillets from “douradinha” andother suspiciously named fish from 4 fish-processing plants sold at 6 marketsin Manaus, in the Brazilian Amazon, and sequenced the cytochrome b gene toidentify fillets to species. Sixty percent of fillets labeled “douradinha” orwith other deceptive names were actually C.macropterus. Six other fish species of low commercial value were alsofound. The presence of dolphin tissue in the stomach contents of C. macropterus was confirmed by mtDNAcontrol region sequencing. Our results formed the scientific basis for amoratorium on the fishing and fraudulent selling of C. macropterus, issued by the Brazilian Ministries of theEnvironment and Fisheries. Exposure of this fraud via the mass media can helpend the illegal use of dolphins as bait in Brazil. The pdf is freely available from the Journal ofHeredity site:http://jhered.oxfordjournals.org/content/106/S1/565.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=kPkuf4c2J2RON0S Alternatively, pdf requests can be addressed tohaydeecunha at yahoo.com.br. Cheers,  Haydée ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Haydée A. Cunha, PhD
MAQUA - Laboratório de Mamíferos Aquáticos e Bioindicadores (UERJ)

Faculdade de Oceanografia 
Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro 
Rua São Francisco Xavier, 524 / Sl. 4002-E
Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brasil
CEP 20.550-013 
Tel: +55 (21) 2334-0065 / 99981-8382
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